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Your neighbor's

"Wireless Network Connected," your computer informs you, so you click on the little icon. There are fifteen. Seriously: fifteen networks detected — all on your street, you suppose. And each of those networks costs its owner upward of $30 a month. Is this progress? Not if your four-family apartment building has four different wireless routers, all within forty feet of each other — unless one of those neighbors has forgotten to password-protect his or her signal. Despite AT&T's no-bid contract to bring Wi-Fi to St. Louis by 2009, the city is still far behind the wireless curve set by similar-size cities. The question is: Are our citizens paying more per household router now then they'll pay in the taxes (and fees) necessary to operate a citywide system? If the answer is yes, a citywide system may be the answer. But until it actually happens, we'll all be looking at our neighborhood full of wireless signals and sighing...as we click on our own.

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