Don’t count on free (or any) Wi-Fi at Minnapolis Parks

From 12/19 Star Tribune

Minneapolis Wi-Fi network delayed again

December 19, 2008

“The Minneapolis Wi-Fi network, which for more than two years has
been delayed by technical issues, weather problems and signal-blocking
leaves, has run into another barrier: the Minneapolis Park and
Recreation Board.” [continue at Star Tribune site]

Turns out the City and US Internet never discussed digging up Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) property to plany the poles necessary to support the wireless radios. Oops.

Now the MPRB is refusing to allow the antennas around lakes and the Mississippi pending further study. That leaves Minneapolis with only an 82% coverage by Wi-Fi.

The MPRB just found out, they say, that there was any plan to do Wi-Fi installations on MPRB property. (I guess they were busy during the year of community meetings, often on Park property, discussing Wi-Fi.)

During the community meetings, free Wi-Fi in the parks was one of the selling points of the network. It’s even in the contract (p. 7)! (Contract and related docs are available here.)

I think this will be worked out in 2009. It’s still irritating that the City has so much trouble communicating between entities and that our park commissioners seemed oblivious to the Wi-Fi network plans that were discussed starting back in 2006.


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