Five on SF Wireless Short List

9 Comments

Of the 26 responses received by the city of San Francisco for its proposed wireless network, the choice has narrowed down to five:

  • Earthlink
  • Google
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • MetroFi and
  • Skytel/MCI.

It is interesting to see Skytel/MCI, a company that is essentially owned by Verizon in the mix. Nothing like a little Bell system infighting. I think this would be fun on to track. Kimo reminds us that there will be a public hearing tomorrow at 2 pm noon in the City Hall. More on the politics of SF Tech Connect.

9 Comments

Kimo Crossman

You can have a basic set of WIFI/Fiber service that are free to all the people in the city like the street lights, like the road system etc.

This can be used be all and especially during a diaster when first responders are overloaded and the people you live near are the ones that need to work together to respond. A bottom up response to disasters.

For premium levels of service – sure, charge people, but the basic service is paid for with a city bond. All versions of the service would have cell phone quality coverage and bank/library-like security and privacy

See privacy concerns by EFF/ACLU/EPIC
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/004078.php

Don

So, the thing is, you DON’T give away access for free.

Period.

You give away access away in free areas specified by the city, which can be fairly substantial in coverage, and the rest of the city is a big hot spot with reduced-price access (compared to the incumbent DSL/Cable solutions).

Privacy is assured. Cost of access decreases. Where’s the issue?

You get what you pay for. Blanket free access = lack of privacy, scalability, stability, performance, network management, infrastructure upgrades, etc.

Kimo Crossman

While the San Francisco did feature the Five turnkey solutions as part of their RFI/C summary of the 26 submittals. It’s probably not accurate to call it the short list.

An RFP now has to be created. And after the hearing today (12/16) in City Hall, it sounds like there will be a lot of rethinking – the Supervisors were pretty upset with the lack of transparency in the process for something that has the potential to replace the Comcast (cable) and SBC (phone) franchises in the city.

Also, pretty much everyone was uncomfortable with the idea of selling the public’s privacy to pay for a free-to-the-city WiFi solution.

The City was basically instructed to perform a serious look at Municipal WiFi first before over a market-driven solution.

They got their hat handed to them.

Golfinguy

I’ve always wondered why the incumbants didn’t go after the business themselves more agressively – or at all.

They spend way too much time fighting what they could essentially own/control simply by winning the bids. Sure, the margins aren’t as large – but ya gotta take em or lose em.

moo

Verizon Wireless wont be too happy with the Skytel/MCI bid. Wont be too surprised to see the plug pulled on that one early next year.

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