Minneapolis becomes the largest city in the world with a privately operated, near total coverage Wi-Fi network: The network, built and run by US Internet, claims 16,500 private subscribers. The company was able to secure advance fees from the city against future services provided, services which have not yet been built. The company was able to reach 99.5 percent coverage, it says.
This year, services will be tested, such as linking police cars and fire vehicles to the Wi-Fi network. The city's unused prepayments will be rolled over.
US Internet told the Star Tribune the network cost $20m to build. It uses BelAir network equipment, which was the same choice made by Cablevision, which is building (or perhaps has already built) the largest single-operator coverage area of Wi-Fi in the world. Unlike US Internet, Cablevision offers Wi-Fi access only to its broadband cable subscribers.
(At one point, there was a similar, larger network being built in Taipei, but I believe it was abandoned. There's no information in English that I can find, nor linked in Chinese. The last update on Taiwan's government page about this private project was from early 2006.)