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Portland’s Free Wi-Fi Network Goes Live Tuesday

By • Dec 4th, 2006 • Category: Portland, Tech Weenie

MetroFi Tuesday morning (12/5), the pipe is opening on a portion of the citywide wireless network going in across Portland. The whole shebang is privately funded by a CA company called MetroFi. Their plan is to make money by placing a 1-inch-tall ad at the top of your browser window when you access the network. You’ll be able to pay $20/month for an ad-free version.

The first stage of the net is lighting up near Pioneer Courthouse Square and in the Buckman, Lloyd and Kerns neighborhoods. MetroFi’s plan calls for “95% coverage of the city” when the network installation is complete (mid-2008). The company’s contract with the city requires the network provide “1 Mbps downloads and up to 256 Kbps uploads.” Not a bad option for travelers or people with limited home internet needs and budgets.

It’ll be interesting to see how this works out. I’m going to give it a shot tomorrow when I’m down there running some errands. I’d imagine it’ll be stupid slow on its first big day in the spotlight. But I might as well contribute to the digital gridlock.

[tags]Portland, wireless, wi-fi, free wifi[/tags]

is a post-hardcore rock'n'roller, graphic designer, amateur chef, typography nerd, coffee connoisseur, radio guy, motorcyclist, skateboard commuter, and a reluctant adult. He lives in Portland's Old Town area with the lovely Dr. Adrienne and Rocco the Dog.
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