That's right, time to re-up your own wireless contract, the City will not be helping you out. The City Council voted last night to cancel the contract with Sacramento Metro Connect. Although we reported here in January that wi-fi plans had returned, it appears that SMC was unable to put together the funding for the project.
It's no surprise that in today's economy, many of the technology giants pulled out of the deal. SMC estimated needing $15 million to get started plus ongoing costs to run the network. These costs were supposed to be supported by ads on the free network and supplemented by fees from the faster, ad-free network.
So now what? We'll have a good tally on our trees, a lost pile of water meters and no wi-fi. It seems that the City could have been far more proactive on this project and made a major difference. How much are we currently paying for network services for City and County buildings? Why not make a joint powers agreement with the state and blanket the entire downtown/midtown area? Many of these buildings are already using wireless repeaters so the startup cost of opening the network and adding a few firewalls would not be extensive.
Or we can keep on being almost but not quite as cool as San Francisco.