Oregon city selects vendor for mesh network

MetroFi Inc. has won a contract from Portland, Ore., to build a citywide WiFi network. The company did not disclose the potential contract value.

Under the contract, MetroFi of Mountain View, Calif., will build and operate a network that will offer free wireless Internet access to city residents and expanded coverage to city workers.

The WiFi mesh network will be built at no cost to the city, the company said. Revenue from local and national advertisements will support the network. Customers who want Internet access via the network without ads will be charged about $20 per month.

In addition, Portland's public works field personnel and first responders will have greater access to wireless network services for data communications that are essential to their jobs. Once the network is built, public safety, public works, property inspectors and other city employees will be able to download and upload data from the field.

Portland encompasses 134 square miles and has a population of about 540,000. It is the 28th-largest city in the United States.

Several other U.S. cities are either building or considering WiFi networks. A small sample includes Anaheim, Calif.; Hartford, Conn.; Houston; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Tempe, Ariz.; and Seattle.

William Welsh is the deputy editor of Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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