Silicon Valley Can't Afford Wireless Network
Investors find the plan too shaky to support
Silicon Valley has been working for nearly two years to roll out an ambitious Wi-Fi plan covering the entire area under one system. They recently faced additional delays due to the complexity of the rollout but predicted
that they would have a model for the system in place before the end of the year. The end of the year is coming up quickly and it looks like they’re no closer
to making this a reality than they have been in the past. The problem, of course, is money. Investors aren’t willing to foot the $500,000 bill for pilot testing. The system just has so many flaws that it’s considered too risky of an investment.
“Wireless Silicon Valley has no clear leader and a fuzzy long-term business model. Azulstar has a spotty track record as a network operator. Local public safety agencies - the cash cow for municipal networks - are skeptical. And no one has ever attempted to build a WiFi network on such a vast scale, covering more than 40 municipalities.”
Cisco is the only company willing to contribute money to the project at this time. Without additional support, it’s unlikely that it’s going to be able to move forward. Will the Bay Area find that it is sufficiently covered by independently-offered free Wi-Fi (such as that offered by Metro-Fi and Google Wi-Fi)? Or will a push come for Silicon Valley to work out its original plan?