Economic development in Northwest Florida depends on education

JuliannBy: Juliann Talkington

Juliann Talkington is the administrator of the Panama City Renaissance School. Reach her on 850-215-8712 or

On Friday, Florida’s Great Northwest, the economic development organization for our region, presented details on a target industry study. The event was attended by government officials and business and community leaders from Bay County and the surrounding areas. The study suggested our region has a competitive advantage in four target industries: 1) aerospace and defense, 2) health sciences and human performance-enhancement, 3) renewal energy and environment and 4) transportation and logistics.

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Free Municipal Wifi in Panama City – Is Wired Mag Wrong?

Over the weekend I was reading a fascinating article in Wired Magazine that explained that although many may think the idea of free municipal-sponsored wifi networks was dead, it was actually becoming a reality any many large and small cities alike.

The idea came a couple of years ago, from google, to set up free city-wide wireless networks all across the country.  The idea, of course, came with much criticism and concern from the big tel-com companies out of fear they would eventually lose the market or become obsolete.  The cost would be offset by advertising.

I actually hadn’t heard much about it is a while, but apparently San Francisco (the pioneer city), Chicago, and Atlanta just to name a few are in the process of getting this.  In addition, Cupertino, CA, Athens, GA, and Ft. Lauderdale are up and running.  Can any of our readers in these area verify this and give us feedback as to how this works?

I was surprised to see that among the “little” cities that was functioning was Panama City with a mark on the map to verify its location.  I like to consider myself somewhat on the up-and-up, but I stay busy so maybe I missed something.  I called around to the City of Panama City, the City of Panama City Beach, Callway and Lynn Haven, and all of them answered the question with a pause and a belittling “no, I mean, we have a router in city hall, but I don’t think it will go across the whole city.”

After doing a little research, I found had a map that supposedly shows all the municipalities that offer free wifi city-wide.  Panama City is on that map too.

Interesting.  I wonder where they are getting their information.

Wired pdf map.