Phoenix starts work on starting work on a metro-scale wireless network: With its suburbs unwiring with great haste, starting immediately to the south in Tempe (home of a major university), a set of Phoenix stakeholders put out a request for proposal (RFP; download as PDF) to find a consultant that would help them develop a plan. Given the pace of other cities, this might be the right speed. While Tempe, for instance, has about 160,000 residents (including about 60,000 affiliated with the university), Phoenix has over 1.3 million residents.
Stakeholders include the city, the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, Arizona State University (main campus in Tempe, but satellites in Phoenix and elsewhere), and Maricopa County. That's a lot of masters to serve. The initial project would cover 90 city blocks; $2.5b in development is in the works in private, public, and transportation projects for downtown over the next three years. The RFP notes that 26,000 people work within that area. They're looking for the first phase to encompass outdoor access only.
The city's timing is auspicious because at least several other major metro-scale networks should be well underway by fall, allowing them the hindsight of observation before committing dollars or finding a private partner.