The city has asked its potential metropolitan wireless network vendors to build temporary test networks: This is an awfully clever idea from several standpoints. First, it allows the city to see how the vendor works with its utility employees to set up the test. Second, it shows that the equipment works. Third, it gives local residents a chance to test service to see if it's something they would ultimately be interested in. Fourth, it allows different technology to contend in similar spaces, which lets the city more easily choose the best kind of wireless technology for their region. Fifth, it's not as cut and dried as an RFP with a single winner.
Of course, this test favors companies that have the wherewithal to build out test networks of this scale, but the city has 13 potential vendors for these trials!
Trials will begin May 6 and last eight weeks with open access during the tests. The ultimate network will span 45 square miles. Funding plans aren't mentioned.
Update: Trials have been delayed to at least June 1 to have more time to review vendor applications for the test.