IDG News Service reports that Azulstar was unable to raise the funds necessary to build the network, but will continue as applications provider: Big-name partners IBM and Cisco are seeking a replacement firm, which seems essentially a doomed effort. Who would step in at this point on a project that has no committed municipal partners, no test networks build, a failed effort to raise funds, and no input into how the project was shaped? That would be...a chump.
What should happen is that this attempt should be scrapped, and one city should volunteer to work with the group with pilot funding chipped in by counties, Cisco, and IBM, as well as other cities, to become the model testbed for a network with specific goals set for specific services. But that's not going to happen. There's too much committed to this effort to not see it through--and to fail spectacularly before a re-think happens.
I commented on WiFi not being the universal solution several months ago. This is the latest endeavor to find a fizzled end due to no commitment by the municipalities.
This business model can safely be called "flawed" and anything beyond this has to have "Buy-in" by the municipality in order to have some guarantee of success.
Some of the blame has to go to overnight experts and early WiFi evangelists who preached "It's Free" to municipalities who took the bait and would not put any money into initial implementation.
Municipalities need to develop applications that can drive this type of technology. We are working on a plan to have parking meters(wifi equipped) and in ground sensors that use the .11 platform and can save the labor and increase parking ticket efficiencies. We plan to implement a 3 block area of pay and display parking system that will use a wifi network. Once there are uses that save cities monies, the public can access the system as a bonus.