I think you may be taking your city's view about muni Wi-Fi and applying it to the rest of the country. For example, if you read the Atlanta RFP, they require you to provide coverage for 95% of the city. Do you know what the city is offering up to the winning bidder? Access to traffic lights and city owned buildings. That's it! If you want pole rights you still have to contract with the local utility. If you want roof rights you have to contract with various building owners. So, what you consider golden isn't even on the table. And its not like Atlanta's RFP is somehow different than other major cities.

We already have roof rights throughout the city and we already pay the local utility company for pole rights and power. How does providing a service to the city help me?


John Scrivner wrote:
Many WISPs have been too busy trashing the Muni-WiFi concept to look at the opportunities. Who can blame AT&T for taking advantage when most WISPs turned up their noses. It is not too late for WISPs to get a foothold in the Muni-WiFi arena if they try. Turning up their noses at the idea will not win them any contracts though. The most important thing to understand is that getting access to light poles and electrical power is golden. The street light based wireless broadband platform will change over time. Eventually a platform will emerge that will work well. There are many people who are aggressively making headway toward building real carrier class wireless broadband operating off of street lights. I have 4 nodes being installed on street lights this morning. I see a day when these nodes will have GigE backhaul capacity with redundant paths all through the air. WiMAX distribution to homes and businesses will be the norm. This is going to happen.

Peter R. wrote:


 Ma Bell's About Face On Muni-WiFi

     from the /is-that-about-face,-or-just-two-faced?/ dept

Remember the good old days of... well, last year, when telcos were telcos and they absolutely hated muni-WiFi? It was such a huge threat to their business that they gave Congress people plenty of money to make it illegal. Of course, that was before they actually bothered looking at many of the muni-WiFi proposals, and recognized they weren't really "government-run" at all, but were really no different than traditional telco deals. The government was simply giving away rights of way for placing equipment in return for promises of service. The providers could still be commercial providers with real business models. Suddenly, the industry opposition quieted down. Industry associations claimed that muni-WiFi was great... and AT&T (whose former employee introduced the bill to ban muni-WiFi) was seen providing the very same "free, tax-supported" WiFi they had screamed about just months before. Well, congrats to AT&T for all that hard work trying to stop muni-WiFi. You've just won another muni-WiFi deal (this one without taxpayer funding). Of course, for those of you who thought that muni-WiFi would give consumers an alternate provider, offering real competition to the incumbent telco... well, that doesn't really work so well when that alternate provider is the telco itself.

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