Hollywood's Wi-Fi Effort Collapses in a Heap
Network Never Worked, Still Interfered With Working Networks
We've all seen more than a few public Wi-Fi initiatives rise and fall as cities realize that it's simply not very profitable selling Wi-Fi service many places already offer -- for free. Municipal operations looking to improve regional connectivity have instead shifted their attention to fiber networks. Hollywood, Florida paid $3.8 million to a company named Johnson Controls for a Wi-Fi network that has never actually worked. The network suffered from what appears to be the company's ability to find enough places to mount hardware that didn't suffer from significant interference from existing towers and buildings.
Not only do locals get to stare at an SSID for a network that doesn't work, in some instances the network trampled over existing wireless broadband services that actually worked
Julie Good, a Cleveland Street resident, says the broken network interfered with her Internet service provider and she emailed the city April 30 asking for help but never heard back. "The signal from my AT&T router is being blocked by the Hollywood wireless network and AT&T states it cannot be fixed with their equipment," she wrote. In a telephone interview Thursday, Good said: "It was expensive, annoying and frustrating. Nobody could figure out what the problem was." After five days without Internet service, AT&T instructed Good to buy a new router that could cancel out Hollywood's wireless. She's since remedied the problem.
Johnson Controls is quoted as saying they're currently working with the city to "close out any remaining issues with the Wi-Fi portion of the project." The results could be a large settlement paid by Johnson Controls for making promises about a network they could never get working.