Forbes names Minneapolis one of "America’s most wired cities"

The city of Minneapolis is quickly becoming one of "Americas most wired cities," according to Forbes magazine. In its annual list of the 30 most-broadband connected cities in America, Forbes ranked Minneapolis No. 7, ahead of such cities as New York and Portland. Minneapolis moved into the top ten for the first time this year, improving four spots from last year’s No. 11 ranking.

Forbes’ rankings are based on a City's "wired quotient," which measures the percentage of Internet users with high-speed connections and the number of companies using high-speed Internet. Because wi-fi has grown extremely popular in urban areas, Forbes also counts the number of wi-fi hotspots in a given city.

According to Forbes, Minneapolis achieved this ranking thanks to its "broad range of service providers, including a number or neighborhoods with 20 different access options for high speed Internet."

Minneapolis is close to becoming one of the first large cities in the United States to go wireless. Construction of a citywide wireless network began in 2007 and soon all residents, businesses, and visitors will have wireless broadband access anywhere in the city.

The network will also allow the City to deliver services more efficiently and effectively than ever before. For example, the network will allow the Police Department to make use of powerful new crime-fighting tools. Officers on the way to a scene can view security camera video of a crime scene as they approach, and squad car camera video can be transmitted to police precincts in real-time. Wireless technology will also make other City operations run more efficiently. Inspectors are able to file reports and access data in the field, and firefighters are able to view floor plans on the way to a fire.

Seattle topped Forbes’ list of wired cities. The complete story can be found at www.forbes.com/2009/01/22/wired-cities-2009-tech-wire-cx_ew_0122wiredcities.html .

Jan. 23, 2009

Published Jan 23, 2009