Friday, June 1, 2007

Baby steps toward citywide wireless Internet

A little more than three weeks ago, City Council members decided not to start negotiating a deal with Michigan-based wireless Internet company Azulstar for citywide wireless service. Instead, the Council appointed members Paul Gray and Jeff Longwell to travel to a couple cities that already have an Azulstar wireless system to see how well it performs firsthand. But that's not happening yet, either.

Longwell says that the two cities he and Gray were going to visit -- Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Rio Rancho, New Mexico -- aren't fully functional. City officials in Rio Rancho have vented frustrations about Azulstar's service and failure to meet contractual obligations. Meanwhile, Winston-Salem's system has yet to be built. Longwell said setbacks in these cities further justify the Council's cautious approach. "I don't think we're doing a disservice to the public by dragging our feet a little bit," he said in a conversation with The Hall Monitor this week. Longwell hopes to see how Azulstar reacts to the complaints they're facing before moving ahead with contract talk. Futhermore, he says, the city may benefit by waiting as new technologies surface. You can't wait forever because there will always be something new, he said, but in this case a slow approach may be best. "There's no reason for us to get too excited," he said. "It's not like anybody is dramatically ahead of us." Longwell said the issue will likely be discussed at the June 12 Council meeting.

For more on Rio Rancho's problems, see this story.
For an update on Winston-Salem, check this one out.
For an overview of problems cities are having with wireless Internet, check out this AP story.



13 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is already free wireless access throughout Wichita. The city would do well to wait, and handle the problems it already has on the table.

Anonymous said...

After ready both stories, I'm not very impressed with Azulstar as a company. Isn't there a local company that can provide the service, even if it means paying a bit more. At least then we would not only keep the money locally, but also provide some needed jobs for our young people interested in internet technology.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh...I'm not awake this morning. Should say "After reading both stories,..."

cyber heehaw? said...

So it took a trip by city government officials to determine this? Why? In the internet age, that's like travelling on horseback to determine the feasability of a bullet train proposal for the city.
Does anyone question the wisdom of the city being involved in this, after a this story?

Anonymous said...

Well, so far, no one from the city has taken that trip. I guess though, if you really wanted to see if it was working properly you'd have to go there...where ever there is, to 'test drive' it for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Finally, someone in city hall is interested in NOT spending taxpayers money chasing willo-wisp's, although the idea is great. Kudos for Carl B. providing the necessary guidance managing the checkbook.

Anonymous said...

This is the worst possible idea the city could have. From someone who's education is based on wireless technology and security I honestly can say a citywide wireless net is a hackers heaven. anyone who uses it is a fool and is asking for serious problems.

just google wireless hacking if you dont believe me that wireless lacks real security.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't there a local company that can provide the service"

Yes there is... And We did bid the project and have not heard one word from the city regarding the proposals.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't there a local company that can provide the service"

Yes, and we bid the project and got no response from the city. This project and who it was going to be going to was decided long before the RFP closed.

Anonymous said...

"From someone who's education is based on wireless technology and security I honestly can say a citywide wireless net is a hackers heaven. anyone who uses it is a fool and is asking for serious problems. "

As much as i agree that wifi isnt secure, it is fine for what the city/county/USD 259 and Westar wants to do.

Oh and FYI, Wifi is as secure as any other internet connetion. I can get as much if not more information from your cable connection as i can get from a Wifi signal.

Anonymous said...

"Finally, someone in city hall is interested in NOT spending taxpayers money chasing willo-wisp's, although the idea is great. Kudos for Carl B. providing the necessary guidance managing the checkbook."

Excuse me what??? Did this guy not read the fine print? 10 Million in hardware installation? 750k per year? umm..... yea.

Anonymous said...

Carl Brewers campaign manger has a stake in the company the city is looking at. The RFP was a joke. There are local companies ready to do what is needed but Carl’s campaign manager does not have an interest in those companies so they are being ignored.

Carl is not protecting the taxpayer’s money it was decided by the council to send two council members to two cities to look at their system. It was the two council members that found out the cities were not up and running and had problems. Why didn’t Kolb already know that?

This is all about payback to Carl Brewers campaign manger.

Anonymous said...

Aren't the Brits removing WiFi from schools because they've found it has more microwave emmissions than one of those cell phone towers? Have the deleterious effects of this on developing neural systems been considered?