Silicon Valley is only just shaking off its image as a wireless laggard, thank to newly announced Metro Connect, a collaboration among Cisco Systems and Azulstar Networks, IBM and Seakay, that has been picked to build and operate Silicon Valley’s regional wireless network that will serve 2.4 million people. Sure there are the GoogleFi and the MetroFi networks, but those pale in comparison to what has been going on in other states.
Rocky Mountain News reports that Rhode Island, Ohio and Colorado are three states that have been most aggressive in investing and building wireless networks. The Colorado daily quotes a study by CDW Government Inc., a subsidiary of CDW Corp. CDWG studies the “purchase records of several thousand of its public-sector customers from 2000 to 2005 and came up with a ranking of states.”
Public CIO does a nice analysis of the report.
Rhode Island is the lead investor in Wi-Fi, with an 802.11 wireless investment profile 147 percent higher than the average. This “lead investor” state demonstrates significant, committed investment in 802.11 wireless technologies at all levels of government, said the company.
To be fair, one main reason California is not at the lead is that many of state’s networks are being built by private companies, and the state is not spending as many dollars. Earthlink, for instance has been busy building its own footprint. There is also the fact that states with poor broadband support from the incumbents are taking their broadband destiny in their own hands.
8 thoughts on “US States High On WiFi”
Can somoene explain what FON stands to do in light of these developments?
Roupen, I would imagine that what Sprint has to do is build a WiMax network that offers superior performance to most municipal wireless and 3G networks and then market it in such a way that this superiority is clear to its target audience. Meanwhile, they have to be careful not to cannibalize their own 3G network. So, in short, their game plan needs to be about 33% engineering and about 67% marketing.
I would add that if Sprint knows what’s good for them they should be joining in this whole muni-wireless fandango and making a big splash with the licensed spectrum they can bring to the party. They have more 2.6 GHz spectrum than they know what to do with in most markets and rather than sit on it they should be making sure it gets put to some use. Broadband is one of those things where the more you have the more you want, as is wireless mobility. Partnering with everyone and anyone to get it out faster can only be to Sprint’s advantage. Maybe they have to be willing to sacrifice some of the longevity of their CDMA2000 network, which will always be an also ran to Verizon’s technilogically identical product, to do this. Still they have the chance to take the technilogical lead they’ve always craved in wireless, so they might as well go for it.
Thank Jesse for the insight on the 3G angle (that’s always the other question – what will this do to 3G). My original question was about FON, the $5-router Wi-Fi social network guys http://www.fon.com. What do you think is their plan light of these munis Wi-Fi networks?
let’s skip Wi-Fi and do mobile WiMax
You can find more on this subject at http://suren.typepad.com/cyberbrunch/2006/09/highspeed_chase.html
Sorry Roupen, I thought you mean FON as in the old ticker symbol for Sprint. FON the WiFi company seems unlikely to ever be a serious presence in the US. I’m not convinced that this company is anything other than a scam (from an investment point of view) anyway.
Sadly, FON is a vaporware. It is just a matter of time before VCs pull the plug.