Demonstrations of long-delayed Wi-Fi service in Minneapolis: The Star Tribune writes about some public safety scenarios spun by US Internet, a local firm that is one of the two long-running finalists in building out fiber and Wi-Fi for Minneapolis. The demonstration sparked some concerns, too, because the firm showed 24-hour surveillance, which led the reporter to The Electronic Frontier Foundation. The city has set a Sept. 1 deadline for choosing a winning bidder.
Bowdoin halts Brunswick network over CALEA concerns: Bowdoin College in Maine decided they couldn't extend their Wi-Fi network covering the lovely downtown in Brunswick because they were concerned that the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) would require that a network open to the public allow wiretapping by law enforcement. This issue has been bedeviling colleges, which want to be exempt from such requirements; the FCC and an appeals court nixed that. (link via Adam Engst)
Ann Arbor, Mich's county plans Wi-Fi coverage: They've picked their provider but not signed the contract in Washtenaw County. Rural coverage for residents is part of the mix. The provider, 20/20 Communications, will spent $42m to set up the network, and charge nothing for using an extremely low-speed connection--85 Kbps in the article! Higher-speed service with advertising subsidies will be $35/mo.; no ads will cost you $50/month. They'll get access to municipal facilities to hang access points. The article is short on technical details, but they're clearly using 5 GHz for backhaul. They plan to start rolling out service in October. Residents are volunteering silos and barns for access point siting.
Springfield considers monorail, I mean, Wi-Fi: The non-Simpsons town of Springfield, Mass., which gets this joke all the time and fails to find it humorous any more, will spend $30k on a study of how to provide citywide Wi-Fi. They're thinking public safety and economic development.
Gainesville might connect traffic signals wirelessly: I'm hearing more about this lately as cities demand more applications that they could run over a municipal network, especially applications that are rather fault tolerant or require little bandwidth. Coordinating tens of thousands of traffic signals would likely use a minute percentage of a city's network bandwidth. Officials will test a system later this year, and if successful, it might help push a municipal Wi-Fi network through to reality.