Saturday, August 9, 2008 - The Progress & Freedom Foundation Blog

Another muni wi-fi failure (Portland), and taxpayers will pick up the tab

Portland's muni wi-fi experiment has failed. [Add it to the list of failures]. According to Broadband Reports, taxpayers are going to be on the line for $60K:

Portland had high hopes of being one of those cities where citywide wireless networks might actually work but those hopes did not pan out. Earlier this summer, Wi-Fi provider MetroFi announced that the company could not afford to continue operating the network there. Attempts to sell it off failed and the network was shut down. That's not the end of the story, though. In order to launch the network, MetroFi had to set up 600 (arguably unsightly) antennas throughout the city. The company had claimed that these antennas would be removed by the end of July but they remain up; MetroFi says that they still plan to follow through on removing them but city staff members report fears that the company is too strapped for cash to keep their end of this bargain. Estimates for removal are around $90,000; subtracting out a $30,000 bond for removal that was part of the MetroFi contract would still mean that Portland's taxpayers could pay up to $60,000 to get those antennas taken down.

posted by Adam Thierer @ 4:40 PM | Commons , Municipal Ownership , Wireless