Christian Einfeldt tipped me off to this news: Portland, Oregon, will “operate a citywide Wi-Fi network that will provide free wireless Internet access and substantially improved public services to Portland residents.”
Mobile Tech News is running the story.
“MetroFi, the leader in designing, building and operating free citywide Wi-Fi networks, announced today it has been selected by the City of Portland, the 28th largest city in the United States, to deliver and operate a citywide Wi-Fi network… The announcement demonstrates Portland’s cutting-edge vision for citywide smart parking meters, universal wireless connectivity and affordable Internet access for its residents. The MetroFi Portland system will be built at no cost to the city, and the City of Portland expects to save millions of dollars in productivity and wireless Internet service fees by using the network.”
Cities save millions by making their existing processes more efficient, and the cost of letting citizens use the extra capacity is essentially zero. So why would any government listen for half a second to a predatory company trying to defend its network monopoly against something clearly better in all respects? (Remember the law passed in Pennsylvania making this sort of wireless network illegal?)
“The City of Portland, which spans 134 square miles and has a population of approximately 540,000, will be blanketed by a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi mesh network. Residents and visitors of Portland will have wireless access to 1Mbps Wireless Internet at no cost. Portland’s public works field personnel and first responders will have greatly expanded access to wireless network services to facilitate more responsive data communications.”
I am extremely excited and pleased by this development!