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Survey Finds Public Access Wireless Lags in Value Recognition
January 31, 2006
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Folsom, Calif., -- The results of a digital communication survey that charts current public sector views on wireless and mobile networks have recently been released. Nearly two thirds (61 percent) of those responding to the survey rated police, fire and emergency response as the outdoor wireless applications likely to deliver the greatest public value. Only about a third (35 percent) considered that wireless public Internet access was likely to deliver significant community value.

The survey, conducted as a part of “Government Technology's Digital Communities initiative,” was designed to provide insight into government perceptions of wireless and mobile workforce technologies.

The findings indicated that the government sector is fairly well informed about wireless issues, but that they are not necessarily fully on top of the latest developments. For instance, security of wireless technology was cited by 47 percent of respondents as the largest barrier to moving forward with a wireless or mobile deployment. And authenticating and protecting data over public networks was considered essential by 83 percent. Clearly the industry work in recent years to greatly improve Wi-Fi security so that new certification standards meet stringent government data protection requirements still is not fully appreciated.

However, in spite of any lingering security concerns, 51 percent of those answering the survey said their communities were currently evaluating wireless opportunities, intending to run pilots in the coming year or were already running pilots.

The full survey results can be found at: http://www.govtech.net/digitalcommunities.

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