There are many arguments for either side of this debate, and I will go through my thoughts, on whether cities should provide free public wifi.
I think that they shouldn’t, and I have several reasons, but first I would like to set the scene on what free public wifi would be like. Firstly, a single wifi network could never cover an entire city, so there would be government or municipality buildings where the wifi would be available, in places like libraries, town halls, sports centres, and government buildings like post offices. All of these wifi “hotspots” would be scattered around the city. But though that might sound nice on the surface, there are many downsides, firstly the wifi usually would be really poor quality, as many people would be using it simultaneously, and there are many ways for malicious hacking to occur when someone is on public wifi, and the wifi wouldn’t actually be free. Someone is paying for the wifi service, and guess who that is. Probably the town. And where will they get the money? From the taxpayers of the town. So if you live in a city, and go to a library to use the wifi, it is being paid for by your tax dollars.
I think that there is a much better solution. One, that is so good that it is already existing. It is called “free wifi”, but, it is not provided by the town. When you go into a Cafè, there is almost always free wifi provided, sometimes you are only allowed to access it if you buy something, but, that is usually the only reason you go into the cafè in the first place, so no problem there. The reasons it is better are these. Firstly, it is being provided by small business owners, as incentive, and/or bonus for the customers to come to the store, the owners get more customers, which helps pay for the wifi. Secondly, there is usually better quality wifi than in libraries because it is mostly used by people going to the cafe [or whatever store] instead of the place most people go when needing to get some work done. Very often there are private libraries, which in that case, the owner would be offering free wifi for the same reason cafès might offer it. To attract more people into their business. And, your tax money, will be put to use in something else [it may be used in something else that is useless but not always]. And the last major reason that it is better than wifi provided by the city or town is, that there will always be more places to find free wifi, in major cities, there are always more private businesses that are offering free wifi then government buildings. On most streets downtown there are places with free wifi, so you will never have to walk more than 1-9 blocks.
Those are my reasons that cities shouldn’t provide free wifi, of course, if it is a small town, there might not be any restaurants or places providing free wifi outside of municipal buildings, and then a library would be your best option, but my prompt was on cities.