coalizzate partecipano alla gara per dare connettività gratuita a tutto il territorio cittadino di San Francisco. Per Google il modello economico è analogo a quello che ha portato il suo motore di ricerca a diventare un gigante del nuovo mercato: offrire servizi per soddisfare la domanda di informazione degli utenti, su cui creare servizi a valore aggiunto a pagamento. Ne parlano New York Times
(grazie Cxr per la segnalazione) e la newsletter tecnoogica Mercury News (che riportiamo nel post, grazie Marco Zamperini per la segnalazione). Il progetto di Google & C. prevede di piazzare access point su 1.500 lampioni della luce.... Hey, ma questa l'abbiamo già sentita! Già. Ne parla da mesi Davide Corritore
, che ha basato la sua campagna elettorale alle primarie su un progetto innovativo di connettività gratuita. Solo che da noi ne hanno parlato (poco e male) giusto le pagine locali dei quotidiani. E invece adesso qualcuno magari scoprirà che è una cosa seria e che persone come Davide, persone con una vision
, sono risorse preziose per una città come Milano. Forse se qualcuno dei maggiorenti (considerazione assolutamente bibartisan) distogliesse per un attimo lo sguardo dal proprio sgabello e leggesse qualcosa di quello che accade nel mondo vero, non saremmo nella cacca in cui siamo.
da Mercury News del 23 febbraio 2006
S.F. WiFi plans unveiled
SERVICE PROPOSALS RANGE FROM PAY AND NON-PAY TO PUBLIC TV MODELS
By Jessie Seyfer
Six proposals, six very different ways to provide a city-wide wireless
Internet network in San Francisco.
The proposals from companies hoping to win San Francisco's WiFi contract
were released by city officials Wednesday. Ideas include creating two levels
of Internet access -- one free, one paid; offering free access supported
entirely by ads; creating a co-op network of specialized WiFi ``stores'';
and operating a WiFi service from generous donors in a public television
The proposal grabbing the most attention is a joint bid from Mountain View's
Google and Atlanta--based EarthLink, in which Google handles the ads, and
EarthLink pretty much everything else.
They're offering two levels of service: a free, advertising-supported
service from Google, and a faster, no-ad service for $20 a month from
EarthLink. The free service would run at about 300 kilobits per second,
slower than most DSL lines, and EarthLink's service at about 1 megabit per
second, comparable to traditional DSL service.
EarthLink would install about 1,500 radio transmitters -- made by Tropos
Networks in Sunnyvale -- atop light poles across the city. It would cost $6
million to $7 million to install and $15 million for maintenance, upgrades
and billing for the next 10 years, according to Don Berryman of EarthLink's
municipal WiFi division.
Google spokeswoman Megan Quinn said ``We believe this proposal and our
combined technological expertise will benefit the residents of San
Most of that would come out of EarthLink's pocket, Berryman said, but Google
would help pay for the initial installation. The companies both said they
have not figured out how to divide up revenues.
The other bidders also include some familiar valley heavyweights: Cisco
Systems and IBM are teaming up, offering to build a network with Cisco's
equipment and IBM's software. The team also includes SeaKay, a non-profit
technology consultancy based in San Francisco. The group would be supported
through corporate or private sponsorships.
Mountain View's MetroFi proposes a service similar to one it currently
provides to Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Cupertino. It offers a free,
advertising-supported service as well as a no-ad service -- at the same
download speeds -- for about $20 a month. The ad-supported system places a
1-inch deep strip ad across the top of each customer's Web browser.
Other bidders include nextWLAN of Los Gatos, which paints itself as a David
against the Goliaths, uniquely proposing an indoor rather than outdoor
system -- with WiFi equipment installed into DSL lines at $100 a pop. San
Francisco-based Razortooth would charge subscribers $5 per month for basic
services available at community WiFi ``stores'' around the city. Meanwhile,
South San Francisco's Communication Bridge Global proposes a network that
would split its revenue with the city 80-20.
The deadline to submit bids was Tuesday, and city officials will assemble a
task force to review them in April. The task force will issue a
recommendation to the mayor.
Much attention is focused on the Google-EarthLink bid, which presents an
interesting match -- a search giant that has never ever installed a WiFi
network, and an Internet service provider branching out into new businesses.
Google's decision to partner with EarthLink, which won bids to build WiFi
networks in Philadelphia and Anaheim, seems to some an admission it wasn't
equipped to do it on its own.
``I think that EarthLink has value in having been through this process at
least in terms of understanding the process,'' said Craig Settles, an
Oakland-based independent consultant on wireless issues. ``That's experience
that Google doesn't have. Google has pretty much just jumped into the
Settles, author of the book, ``Fighting the Good Fight For Municipal
Wireless,'' which chronicled the Philadelphia WiFi project, said the
Google-EarthLink proposal sounded good on its face, but wondered whether the
companies would be able to recoup their costs mostly by selling ads.
``$15 million is a chunk of change,'' he said. ``Do they have the business
expertise to actually run the network as a profitable business? . . . In
many respects there's a frenzy of cities that get aboard the WiFi bandwagon
and no one knows how to pay the piper.''