Sacramento's massive WiFi project stalls

By Justin Mann on June 9, 2006, 11:12 AM
One of the largest WiFi projects in the world, one that has the ultimate goal of getting wireless access to just about everyone that wants it, has hit a wall. The company U.S. MobilePro, one of the companies behind development of the project's infrastructure, has pulled out of the project because they have determined it costs them too much money. They had other reasons too, a lot of it involving politics:

In the Friday announcement, MobilePro noted that it had been declared the winner of an RFP for the project. The firm complained that after it went through a lengthy permitting process, the city made a "counter proposal requiring that the company establish a free high-speed wireless network supported almost exclusively by advertising revenue without the benefit of the city serving as an anchor tenant."
They also said they do not believe that an advertising-supported business is possible in a the broadband world, and they could be right. We've seen what happens to "free" ISPs in the past. Moreover, it's still a blow to the city and to global WiFi as a whole, because likely it puts the project back a few years at the least.

User Comments: 5

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Bunker said:
Wrong city for this articleIt was Sacramento, not San Francisco, from which MobilePro withdrew this morning.Bunker
Reachable said:
If society wants to have broadband access for all it needs to do what it did for telephone service and electricity -- regulate the providers. In the case of broadband, the infrastructure is already in place, in the DSL and cable technology, and eventually in broadband over electrical power lines. Set limits for the prices charged by these utilities, and to assure access by those of lower income, institute subsidized lowering of charges as is done with phone and electric service. There are good reasons why this approach is much more desireable than WiFi. WiFI is a security risk, WiFi is inferior in speed, and WiFi, whether you choose to admit it or not, is a possible health risk. Perhaps above all, it makes no sense, when the infrastructure is already built, to neglect that infrastructure in favor of something additional. It is assuredly not the phone and cable companies whose interest I advocate here, but society's as a whole.[Edited by Reachable on 2006-06-09 17:01:34]
Julio said:
Bunker, thanks for noticing the error :)
Canadian said:
Shame it failed. But, it would be nice, to have a world with free interet, no matter where you are!
crossfire851 said:
If they only had more money....
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