Houston moves forward with two finalists: The city will consider EarthLink and a firm with local ties, Convergent Broadband; there hasn't been a formal announcement yet. The network would span 600 square miles, and although this article it's "expected to be the biggest in the country once it's completed in 2008," that involves a tense rarely found in English (or even Icelandic). By 2008, there will likely be dozens of networks worldwide that span more than 600 square miles using a variety of technology to achieve broadband speeds. Even excluding faster cell networks, which may span tens of thousands of square miles, the Wireless Silicon Valley network may exceed 600 square miles by late 2007, depending on city buy-in. Rhode Island, a large county in Washington State (Pierce), Oakland County in Michigan--these networks would all be larger. (All antenna, no signal, down in Texas?) Meanwhile, Convergent may have the edge because it's local, although nobody seems to know quite what they do; they have money commitment contingent on winning the bid, this story says.
Spitzer's new hometown gets unwired: Albany, N.Y., the state's capital city, will get a combined public access and public safety network. Tech Valley Communications will build the network using Cisco's ServiceMesh approach. Service will be free to residents and visitors; the town will use the network's Wi-Fi and 4.9 GHz public safety bands for a variety of purposes.
Sydney, rest of New South Wales, need downtown Wi-Fi: The NSW government plans to encourage interest in adding Wi-Fi to central business areas of Syndey, Parramatta, Penrith, Liverpool, Newcastle, Wollongong, and Gosford. News travels strangely in the Antipodes, because the premier of NSW cites San Francisco and Paris as having such service. SF has no central Wi-Fi network yet, even in downtown; Paris is considering building such service in the future. This NSW plan has such passive tense in it, it's unclear who would actually build such service. An article at ZDNet explains slightly further that this might be an RFP for outside risk and ownership of such networks, with a deadline of second quarter 2007.
Western Australian commits Au$1b: The state government includes the city of Perth, the continent's most isolated large municipality. The plan will put the existing Au$100m per year telecommunications spending into a 10-year contract to bring broadband to all residents and businesses in the enormous region. The government would like to see 10 Mbps to the home. What portion will be wireless isn't specified.
Leicester Square at no cost: London's famous Leicester Square gets free Wi-Fi from a PR firm, an unusual move among the usually for-fee and expensive Wi-Fi in the UK.