Lompoc city council member says articles on Lompoc Wi-Fi failure misleading: The council member, Mike Siminski, writes his local paper that the service isn't struggling to attract users because they haven't advertised for them yet. Numbers for break even have been revised down (to 1,500 instead of 4,000) even with a lower subscription rate because they'll use the network to save money on municipal projects, too. Finally, they haven't even hired staff yet, and billing isn't yet in house. He says, after the service is announced and marketed, "our subscriber numbers will justify the criticism or credit as the facts support." Several articles noted that Lompoc had signed up just a handful of users, and that the cable and telco incumbents had dramatically improved the town's broadband infrastructure since the Wi-Fi network was first announced.
Even at MuniWireless conference, success stories are hard to find: My fine colleague Esme Vos is quoted here as mentioning just St. Cloud, Flor., as a successful municipal Wi-Fi network. And St. Cloud might shut down or change dramatically if a state-wide property tax limitation measure is passed, the mayor of St. Cloud told me via email a few weeks ago. The small city has also faced unexpected costs due to annexation of various adjacent unincorporated areas; new developments must include a small fee for adding Wi-Fi.
BelAir will guarantee network performance: The metro-scale networking hardware provider will certify specific designs, and guarantee that those designs will meet certain performance and coverage specifications. The company will provide additional APs at no cost if the specs aren't met, but integrators and installers could still charge to put them in place. BelAir gear powers networks in London and Toronto.
Round-up of Washington State Wi-Fi: The Seattle Times looks at projects in the greater Seattle area and beyond. Nice factoid: The free Wi-Fi in a large county park near Microsoft, paid for by the software giant, made the venue more attractive to Cirque de Soleil as they were living at the site during their run of the show.
Eugene, Ore., adds, plans Wi-Fi: My hometown, a formerly pokey university town that's now a bit more industrious, has added Wi-Fi to a few parts of downtown. They'll expand to some pools and community centers by summer.