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Summary:

EarthLink and Google have teamed up and submitted a joint proposal to the City of San Francisco to build a citywide wireless municipal network. As part of the plant, the two companies propose a two-tier business model – a combination of free and pay service. As […]

EarthLink and Google have teamed up and submitted a joint proposal to the City of San Francisco to build a citywide wireless municipal network. As part of the plant, the two companies propose a two-tier business model – a combination of free and pay service. As part of the proposal, Google will push a slower, but free network with connection speeds of 256 kbps up to 384 kbps. Earthlink on the other hand will offer a paid, citywide higher-speed service at 1 mbps, both upstream and down.

The two companies will share the cost of construction and operational expenses. To clarify, this is just a proposal, and not a done deal. The City has asked for proposals back in November 2005. The San Francisco Wireless project has been a politically tough effort, and I wonder how long it will take before the city does get unwired.

San Jose Mercury News reports: “Other proposals were submitted by MetroFi, Communication Bridge Global, NextWLAN, Razortooth Communications and SF Metro Connect, which is an alliance of SeaKay, Cisco Systems and IBM.”

  1. This may be one of the few “first movers” along with Minneapolis, Chicago, Boulder? and some others I have forgotten to really push forward in the municipal wifi. I still feel the Wimax could prove to be the more lucrative (commerically) and less capital intensive (municipality wise) down the road simply due to less infrastructure in places which don’t have it. SF I will go out on a limb and say does have the infrastructure.

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  2. Google y EarthLink van juntos a San Francisco

    Leo en el Blog de Om Malik una noticia que puede potenciar el avance de los Muni-WiFi, Google y EarthLink dejaron de competir, en la práctica se han asociado, y le han presentado a San Francisco una oferta en conjunto para construir la red Muni-WiFi ...
    
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  3. I still feel the Wimax could prove to be the more lucrative (commerically) and less capital intensive (municipality wise) down the road simply due to less infrastructure in places which don’t have it.

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  4. [...] In an effort to bring WiFi wireless Internet to the entire city of San Francisco, Google has teamed with Earthlink and the two have submitted a proposal together. The Ciywide WiFi proposal is based on a two tier structure according to Om Malik, “a combination of free and pay service. As part of the proposal, Google will push a slower, but free network with connection speeds of 256 kbps up to 384 kbps.” [...]

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  5. [...] In an effort to bring WiFi wireless Internet to the entire city of San Francisco, Google has teamed with Earthlink and the two have submitted a proposal together. The Ciywide WiFi proposal is based on a two tier structure according to Om Malik, “a combination of free and pay service. As part of the proposal, Google will push a slower, but free network with connection speeds of 256 kbps up to 384 kbps.” [...]

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  6. I admire the efforts, but like Slav, I would think a Wimax network would be much more efficient and better. 256k (and 1M to some extent) is outdated. Can’t a Verizon data service get that kind of speed?

    Wait for mobile Wimax in a year or two and double the speed with half the hassle. I can’t figure this one out.

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  7. uh wifi technology doesn’t prevent you from going far beyond 1mbps. That’s just the bandwidth they’ll be offering to paying subs, for cheaper, entry-level broadband.

    In the end it comes down to how much bandwidth goes through your internet backhaul, THAT’s more likely to be the bottleneck, rather than whichever “wireless technology du jour”.

    here in hermosa beach, the 30% lucky few who have had access to our free wifi network enjoy speeds that blow the living crap out of any DSL and Cable package. The WiFi network is wicked fast. But our internet bachaul is a T1 line. if 100% of all residents would use the network, we’d want to do the switch to a fiber optic connection to the Internet wand buy multiple DS3 circuits as needed, which was Keegan’s plan.

    the point is, it comes down to your pipe to the Internet.

    WiFi, as a technology, is sound, it works, it’s been proven in the field. why wait? to give telcos more chances to cement their monopoly on broadband?

    HECK THE FSCK NO.

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  8. not to mention, if i understand correctly, the private sector is footing the bill. the municipality is just keeping things organized and looking after the constituents’ interests, and looking for competitive frameworks before granting right of way.

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  9. What about the businesses that are in and around SF that already have WiFi? Is this new network going to stomp all over the existing networks? Causing co-channel and adjacent channel interference? Are employees of these networks going to connect to the free network while still connected to the wired ethernet cable of thier company’s network. Possibly opening up a security hole?

    Many companies have invested a great deal of time and money into putting up wireless networks in thier offices. This new network may cause a whole host of problems for them. Did Google consult with any of the existing businesses in downtown SF and/or Mountain View as well? Should citizens and businesses have a say in how thier “airspace” is used?

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  10. Chris, how do you get a faster connection than DSL or Cable when you’re maximum is the backhaul speed.

    I know mesh optimizes the network, but I’m curious how you can beat a landline for video, downloads, etc.

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