The capital of California (by politics, not culture – sorry guys) is a step closer to getting its 90-square mile WiFi network. Last night the Sacramento city council approved an agreement for a WiFi network that will be built and operated by an organization called Sacramento Metro Connect, made up by Azulstar, Cisco Systems, Intel and SeaKay. When (if) this network goes live, the CaliCapital would be one of the more advanced broadband cities in the state. Surewest, a small independent telecom operator has wired up the city and offers ultra broadband speeds to its customers as an option.
Cisco is providing the mesh gear for the MuniFi network, which the companies say will cover more than 400,000 Internet users, and the network is scheduled to go live in the last quarter of this year. There will be a free service, paid by sponsorships and advertising as well as faster paid subscriptions. This has been a long time in coming. Last year MobilePro pulled out of the deal to build Sacramento’s WiFi saying Sacramento’s requirement for free Wi-Fi supported by advertising was financially unsustainable. Guess Sacramento Metro Connect could make the numbers work somehow.