There are muni-WiFi delays and snags galore. In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom says the city could be one of the last in the U.S. if plans to have the city WiFi-enabled do not pass. The plans are on hold again by the board of supervisors.
The Wireless Silicon Valley project, designed to bring wireless broadband services to some 40 local cities, was supposed to be well under way by now, with test areas in San Carlos and Palo Alto up and running. Now officials say those tests probably won't happen until this summer. Project leaders say the problem doesn't have anything to do with the commitment by the cities, but the complexity of the network. Rather than solely providing access for constituents, the network will offer a wide variety of services such as automatic meter reading and public-safety video surveillance.
In Toledo, Ohio, complaints are emerging over the fact that the city may end up spending $2.16 million during the next five years to pay MetroFi to deploy the muni-WiFi network.
In Aurora, Ill., MetroFi is facing delays as well. According to reports, negotiations with the local ComEd utility for rights to use poles have prevented deployment of more than 15 percent to 20 percent of the city so far.
It looks like the muni-WiFi market is hitting growing pains.