Could the Wi-fi money be better spent?

Trenton City officials announced this week that they are in discussions with Internet access firms about a project that could provide the city with wireless broadband access in a move that would make Trenton the first city to do so in New Jersey.

City officials said the project, if implemented, could provide a significant benefit to the city in attracting businesses and also in making emergency and other city services more efficient.

While city officials said they would pursue the project only at a minimal cost to Trenton’s taxpayers, such a project would have to cost the city some kind of money at some point during its lifetime.

Most Trenton residents have things other than wireless broadband Internet access on their wish lists for the city. Less crime and more opportunity would probably seem to be more important to most Trenton residents than the title of New Jersey’s first municipality with city-wide broadband access.

Sources said it will be interesting to see how the City Council approaches this question, especially if it becomes a pet project of the Douglas H. Palmer administration.

The project is still in its infancy, but given the current problems with housing inspections and rising police overtime costs, there are other areas of the city that could use any moneys spent on a technological novelty like wireless broadband access, sources said.

Then again, Trenton does need to attract new business and revitalization to provide more opportunity for its citizens and business owners.

The only question is….at what cost?

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