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Citywide WiFi comes to Portland
Posted: 13-Apr-2006 [Source: MetroFi]

[MetroFi to deliver a free citywide WiFi network to Poartland, OR.]

Portland -- MetroFi, the leader in designing, building and operating free citywide Wi-Fi networks, announced today it has been selected by the City of Portland, the 28th largest city in the United States, to deliver and operate a citywide Wi-Fi network that will provide free wireless Internet access and substantially improved public services to Portland residents. The announcement demonstrates Portland's cutting-edge vision for citywide smart parking meters, universal wireless connectivity and affordable Internet access for its residents. The MetroFi Portland system will be built at no cost to the city, and the City of Portland expects to save millions of dollars in productivity and wireless Internet service fees by using the network.

"We are proud to partner with MetroFi in this effort to blanket the city of Portland with wireless Internet access," said Portland's mayor, Tom Potter. "MetroFi has demonstrated its commitment to bridging the digital divide by offering both free and low-cost alternatives for broadband access on an open provider network. Additionally, I look forward to realizing the benefits of wireless technology and have high hopes for Portland's ability to use it to streamline city services and enhance public safety communications."

The City of Portland, which spans 134 square miles and has a population of approximately 540,000, will be blanketed by a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi mesh network. Residents and visitors of Portland will have wireless access to 1Mbps Wireless Internet at no cost. Portland's public works field personnel and first responders will have greatly expanded access to wireless network services to facilitate more responsive data communications.

"As the industry leader in designing, building and operating Wi-Fi networks, we are excited to be selected by the City of Portland to deliver world-class, citywide wireless Internet access," said MetroFi CEO and co-founder Chuck Haas. "Portland's vision of utilizing the MetroFi network for affordable Internet to all residents is defining how cities partner with the private sector."

MetroFi's free Internet access services will be supported by advertising from local and national advertisers. Customers who want an Internet access experience without ads can connect to the MetroFi network premium service for approximately $20.00 per month. Customers accessing the network will see a banner or text advertisement in the browser's frame. Portland-area businesses can leverage the local and regional nature of the network by providing links to their websites, coupons and announcements for users who are connected in close proximity to their establishment.

City of Portland employees will also be better connected than ever before. City officials anticipate improved efficiencies and economies within city government operations as a result of the new Wi-Fi network. Public safety, public works, property inspectors and other field-based employees will now have the ability to wirelessly download and upload reports and data from the field. In addition, public safety will be greatly enhanced with the ability to wirelessly retrieve large amounts of data at broadband speeds.

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