Portland announced today who would be rolling out its Wi-Fi network across the city, and it wasn’t EarthLink or Google, which have received a lot of attention for proposals in other markets.
The winner was MetroFi, which will build and operate a citywide Wi-Fi network that will provide free wireless Internet access to Portland residents. The network will also be used for public services such as smart parking meters, through which the city expects to save millions of dollars in productivity. The system will be built at no cost to the city.
The city of Portland spans 134 square miles and has a population of approximately 540,000. Access for up to 1 megabit per second will be available at no cost. The service will be supported by advertising from local and national advertisers in the form of banner and text advertisements in the browser frame. Customers who want an access without ads can pay about $20 a month.
If you remember, in a May report the city of Seattle dismissed the idea of Wi-Fi being efficient for providing Internet access to residents. Instead, the city wanted to get a service provider to lay fiber to every home and business.