Rice University sets example for Houston network: The university has installed what they believe is the world's most densely used Wi-Fi network in cooperation with the Technology For All nonprofit in Houston's Pecan Park. The network has 650 users per sq km, and expects to hit 1,000 per sq km. 2,000 users currently use the system in the eastside working-class neighborhood. The university hopes its research will be used for practical purposes. Houston recently agreed to have EarthLink built a 600 sq mi network across the entire city, currently the largest committed network to be built in the world; Wireless Silicon Valley would be larger (1,500 sq mi), but all the commitments from cities and counties aren't yet in place. The Pecan Park network has prompted research projects within the coverage area, including one that combines health monitoring and ethnography to determine how to improve health care and residents' health.
Clovis, Calif., looks for Wi-Fi: The city is talking to MetroFi to provide service to its 92,300 residents. They'll talk to Azulstar if that doesn't pan out. It seems rather public, their courtship interests. Andy Seybold is quoted on the cost of metro-scale Wi-Fi nodes. $500 each? I've been told $2,000 to $3,000 is more likely. Any feedback from those who actually have seen price sheets (or create them)? The reporter also writes, "Haas said his firm also sells $99 modems that allow users to access the Wi-Fi system without relying on wireless signals." Rather: without relying on a computer's built-in Wi-Fi card receiving a signal directly; those are bridges that MetroFi's Chuck Haas is referring to, but it's still wireless.
Boingo roams through Tokyo: Boingo has signed up with livedoor to add the thousands of Wi-Fi access points within the circle Yamanote Line in metro Tokyo. Typically, Boingo offers metered rates for usage outside the US, with single account/single login plus negotiated rates making it simpler to use international locations.
Fon City Deutschland offers 5,000 gateways to German cities, communities: Fon's German branch is offering free routers and free access to municipalities. Community members would have free access through a portal. I'm a little unclear on the details, especially as the site states that community members could use over 150,000 hotspots worldwide at no cost. However, the Fon business model only allows free use of sites that are set to be used for free by the site operator. Fon locations operated only a fee basis ("Bill" sites versus "Linus" sites) aren't free for anyone.
Madison's network bought out: Mad City Broadband, a division of Cellnet, has been sold to Cellnet's former CIO. The Capital Times reports that 90 percent of the network's customers were handled through a single firm, ResTech Services, which will end its contract this month due to complaints about connection quality. The new owner will work with Cisco to improve the network quality.
Rhode Island, Vermont vie for first wireless state title: Other states are also in the race. A nice use of friendly competition.
Nashua, N.H., gets downtown Wi-Fi: Right near the Route 128 and Route 495 loops. Service launches in June.
Marina del Ray network completed: Planet Halo has built out their first phase as of a few days ago.