The excitement grows as the 160,000-person nears launch: Two weeks ago, a story cited the Phoenix suburb with about 50,000 college students as the 'first" city to go all Wi-Fi, but it's actually the first city of any scale. The next biggest that declare full citywide coverage are focused on public safety or are fairly small, like Chaska, Minn.
This USA Today article notes that NeoReach (using Strix Systems equipment) will install 400 access points to serve the 40-square-mile city, just over a river from Phoenix. The newspaper account accurately described a key point often misinterpreted by non-technical reporters: "The network is strong enough only to be picked up outdoors or through one wall, meaning those who want service in their businesses or homes will need a box that serves as a signal booster and router." That's exactly right. CPEs (customer premise equipment) will be used to bring the signal indoor. The CPE market will explode with the growth of muni-Fi.
While MetroFi has unwired Cupertino (pop. 50,000) and Santa Clara (102,000), they haven't yet promised ubiquitous coverage. A quick check of addresses shows that some aren't served. I'll be paying some site visits in January to networks under construction--maybe including Tempe!