21 September 2004
From the Department of Major Upgrades
Tropos Networks has built a number of Wi-Fi systems for public-safety use, but they've never tried anything this big: a wireless network for the city of Oklahoma City, 600-plus square miles of spectacularly-irregular polygon.
The new network, which should be fully operational by the end of next year, will cost around $5 million. And no, there will be no public-access hot spots, at least at first.
Posted at 4:24 PM to City Scene
Reading the article, I got the impression that it would be more cost effective to piggy-back a public access network with the public safety network now rather than later, but the city doesn't want to compete with private entities. I can go along with that, yet I wish they would offer bidding to private companies willing to finance the public access network portion of the project during its inception. Six hundred sq. miles of wi-fi would be a nice touch in OKC's effort to become business and customer friendly.
No doubt about it. (Might even attract some of those "creative" people they keep yammering about.)
Philly has announced it will be doing the same thing city-wide, but *with* public access rather than without. So far they are saying either free or very low cost.