Minneapolis proves muni-WiFi model can work

Minneapolis' muni-WiFi network, which covers a 57-square-mile area, is meeting and surpassing expectations set by the city. A recent test conducted by independent third-party consulting firm Novarum found that the Minneapolis network consistently delivered reliable speeds for both 802.11n and 802.11g customers that rival cable and exceed 3G and DSL speeds. BelAir Networks, the city of Minneapolis and USI Wireless were partners involved in the project.

"We believe the Minneapolis area coverage is the biggest in the world," BelAir CTO Stephen Rayment said in an interview with InformationWeek. "We have 450 deployments around the world, but Minneapolis is our poster child. The network delivers 3 Mbps total in up- and downlinks."

The network showed its value early when it provided the only communications link when the I-35W bridge collapsed last year.

In addition to the value of the network for public-safety use, city workers can purchase broadband for a  cheaper rate of $12 a month and consumers can get service for $20 a month.

For more about the Minneapolis WiFi network:
- read this InformationWeek article