The company that has unwired several cities in the South Bay wins the contract to build service across Portland, Ore.: I grew up in Eugene, and let me just tell you that Portland is completely unlike Sunnyvale, Cupertino, and Santa Clara, MetroFi's three working cities in which you can choose among free, advertising-supported service or $20 per month ad-free service. Portland's politics are complicated, its terrain is topographically diverse, and there's water, water everywhere--one river borders its north, while another runs north/south down its middle, the only major river in North America one of the few in North America that flows north (as opposed to the map direction of "down"; see comments below). Here's the coverage from the local paper, The Oregonian.
Portland is 134 square miles with 540,000 residents; Philadelphia is almost identical in area with three times the population.
The service will include not just citizen access, but municipal services, such as smart parking meter operation and hooking up field employees. Portland has been using meter stations for some time--pay at a central station on a block and stick a bar-coded receipt on your window--so Wi-Fi will probably be a large cost savings over the cellular system they use now.
Portland was a hard-fought contract, with EarthLink Networks and others competing for the prize. While MetroFi has added a city in Illinois and is active in other RFPs, this is a very large win for them for expanding their coverage area.
MetroFi's free with ads option will diffuse the "stealing open Wi-Fi" ethical battle discussed in today's Oregonian. If it's free everywhere (with ads), there's no need to steal a private individual's network connection. It also brings up the issue of whether hotels and other venues that charge for Internet access in Portland will see a large decrease in revenue.