Wi-Fi in the Field and in San Fran

17 Oct ’05

Literally in the field. AP is running a story on a rural wi-fi network built over 700 square miles of rural Oregon. The story gets right to the point of why this is so difficult in an urban context:

Asked why other municipalities have had a harder time succeeding, he replies: “Politics.”

“If we get a go-ahead, we can do a fairly good-sized city in a month or two,” said Ziari. “The problem is getting the go-ahead.”

“The ‘Who’s-going-to-get-a-piece-of-the action?’ has been a big part of the obstacles,” said Karen Hanley, senior marketing director of the Austin, Texas, Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group.

No major players were vying for the action here, making the area’s remoteness — which in the past slowed technological progress — the key to its advance.

It’s a great story of the many ways wide area wireless can be deployed into everyday use.

In a related story, San Francisco has published details of the 17 bids to build the San Francisco wi-fi network:

The attached documents include responses to the TechConnect RFI/C that were received by September 30, 2005. The responses fall into two categories as described in the RFI/C: (1) comments by respondents that had no commercial interest in the project and/or only wished to provide comments on the RFI/C or the TechConnect initiative and (2) responses by respondents that have a commercial interest in the project, e.g., vendors and service providers. Some of the respondents with a commercial interest in the project alleged that part of their responses were confidential or proprietary. In these cases, only the parts onf the response that are not alleged by the respondent to be confidential or proprietary have been included.

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