December 2006


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Archive for December 3rd, 2006

A wee bit behind am I

Posted in Geekery on December 3rd, 2006

Tolerant reminded me the other day just how out of touch with my local surroundings I can get. When I wasn’t looking, the City of Portland made a deal with a California company called MetroFi to “unwire” Portland – free municipal Wireless Internet Access.

Of course, now that I am looking for it, the news is all over the place. Funny how I didn’t notice it.

In any case, the great Wire-cutting Ceremony will be taking place at 11:30am Tuesday Dec 5th in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Of course, the initial roll-out will just be downtown and limited additional areas, but the plan is to eventually cover the whole city. Looking at MetroFi’s site map, you can see they have quite a bit of infrastructure in the works. I’m not sure if the map is current, but I have seen a number of the white cone-shaped antennas mounted on traffic signals in the area, including around Lloyd Center.

As with anything “free” on the Internet, patrons of the wifi service will be subjected to ad banners while they surf. Hopefully, they won’t be too obtrusive. Others have speculated that this will be the end of the Personal Telco Project, but I don’t see that as being the case. The PTP is a partnership promoting truly free wireless, and is not a commercial organization.

So, those of you in the area of the first rollout, rejoice! And let me know how it all works out.