It's a dogpile of municipal wireless and hotzone news today across North America.
San Francisco moves to RFP stage: The city initially produced a request for information/proposal (RFI/P) which left them the opportunity to accept plans at that stage or request further details. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the city notified 26 vendors Tuesday that they will issue an RFP later this month incorporating ideas from the RFI/P.
One San Franciscan has written me a number of times to try to draw interest in the fact that substantial portions of proposals were redacted by the vendors and the city allowed this. This reader has filed a number of formal Sunshine Law requests because he interprets the law as not allowing this amount of redaction nor self-redaction by vendors. I am based in Seattle, unfamiliar with the law, and not a political reporter--but I'm still surprised that no one has picked up on this aspect of this story.
Pomona pilot program: This California town had a unanimous city council vote in favor of create a square-mile test project in downtown with Wi-Fi. It doesn't say the service is free, but implies it.
Temecula, Calif., will put Wi-Fi in its Old Town: Wireless Facilities, Inc. (WFI), a company the name of which is appearing increasingly frequently in association with large-scale Wi-Fi bids and installations, will build out this town's Wi-Fi zone by early 2006. They'll use Tropos gear, and enable public safety functions as well as public access. Again, no mention of the network's end-user cost, if any.
Iowa voters chose whether to allow local municipal broadband: 32 municipalities voted on whether to enable a telecom utility run by a town or city, and 17 approved the option. None are committed to build. Qwest and Mediacom (the cable incumbent) spent $1.5 million in commercial time and cash in opposing the intiatives. Proponents spent a fraction. The Des Moines paper offers more insight into the battle, noting that further voting and action are required to start up such utilities, and that other political considerations affected the vote. Twenty-nine cities in Iowa have some kind of telecom or broadband; 54 have voted since 1994 on forming utilities.
Northern Ontario town is tech showcase: Nortel and Bell Canada are using a distant community to test "cutting-edge" technologies...which are unspecified in the press release. But it includes mesh and bringing broadband to a much wider swath of the Township of Chapleau than have had access before.