Minneapolis Unwired: The network is just about as complete as it’s going to get

Minneapolis is officially unwired says the Star Tribune:

The $20 million Minneapolis wireless Internet network has been completed after 2 1/2 difficult years of technical and political delays. The city’s next step: getting the police and fire departments using it this year.

The City’s basic requirement was for coverage of 95% of it’s 59.5 miles and performance meets the City’s expectations, according to Minneapolis Chief Information Officer Lynn Willenbring. There are 16,500 private subscribers, according to Joe Caldwell, marketing vice president of US Internet, which owns and operates the network. The company hopes for 30,000 individual customers.

Getting City departments to use the wireless network is another story. So far Sprint cellular services trump US Internet Wi-Fi services with the City using less than half of the $1.25 million a year worth of services it’s paying for. Luckily  unused money can roll over to future years of the 10-year contract. (What happens if there is still unused money after ten years?)

Esme Vos wrote about the network today at MuniWireless, stressing the need to upgrade to 802.11n units sooner rather than later if it’s not been done already. (I don’t think it has.)

US Internet has improved customer service in the last year and now sends out (and charges for) a technician on each install. General satisfaction of users on the system seems to be growing. I’m seeing far fewer complaints via my Google Alerts than in previous years.

One thought on “Minneapolis Unwired: The network is just about as complete as it’s going to get

  1. Anonymous

    "General satisfaction of users on the system seems to be growing. I’m seeing far fewer complaints via my Google Alerts than in previous years."Well, probably because those who thought it was a viable option instead of Cable or DSL have already gotten fed up with it enough and switched out of USI Wireless. I never recommend USI Wireless in Minneapolis to anyone and almost everyone I know that has it isn’t a satisfied customer.The 802.11n point is real: a two-year deployment cycle means they need to be installing what people will be using two years from now. 802.11n is current technology for 2009-2010 and USI Wireless is already behind. Are they prepared for WiMAX or LTE? WiMAX and LTE networks are already being deployed. This said, 4G technologies will eventually negate any real need for city-based networks. I’m so disappointed in the whole thing — it was all politics as far as I’m concerned.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s