After more than two years and $20 million, the Minneapolis WiFi network has been declared complete. US Internet, which is operating the network, counts some 16,500 subscribers with hopes of reaching 30,000 in three years.
The network initially suffered from technical and political delays, including line-of-sight problems, a shortage of city light poles suitable for WiFi equipment and jurisdictional problems between the city and the Minneapolis Park Board.
Lynn Willenbring, the city's chief information officer, told the Star Tribune that the network meets the city's requirement that US Internet cover 95 percent of the city's 59.5 square miles. The Minneapolis network has been heralded as a muni-WiFi network model that works because the city government is an anchor tenant, paying US Internet $1.25 million per year for 10 years for use of the network. The city is also adding police and fire departments to the network.
- see this Star Tribune article
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