MetroFi Dumping City Wi-Fi By End of June

Better enjoy that free Portland Wi-Fi while you can…the Oregonian and the Portland Business Journal are both reporting the network may soon be sold to the city or shutdown. Word is MetroFi has decided to walk from the deal and is offering to sell the network to the city for $894,000! The company said it will be yank its equipment at the end of June if the city or someone else doesn’t pick up the tab.

This really seems like a crap move by MetroFi, especially when you consider this word of news that the company will be selling its nine city networks across the country. This move casts doubt, I think, on the viability of metro-wide Wi-Fi. We still have all those Personal Telco network hubs out there, but if you aren’t near one and don’t have another way to access the Internet, you’ll probably soon be out of luck.

6 Comments so far

  1. tODD (stadler) on May 16th, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

    I’m pretty certain that MetroFi’s shutting down their network will not cause any noticeable change in my ability to connect to it. How will I know when they turn off the switch?

  2. dsohigian on May 16th, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

    Will this lead to a resurgence in the Personal Telco project? It does seem like it stalled way back when MetroFi started installing…

  3. ilearim on May 16th, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

    This was a failure from Day One. I don’t think anyone is going to miss the inability of not being able to connect to them.

  4. leander37 on May 16th, 2008 @ 5:46 pm

    I shelled out $99 for the booster in my home. I’ve gotten 4 or 5 months good use out of it, so I guess it was worth it. My experience with MetroFi has been OK, and I’ll hate paying for internet again. I may not – perhaps I’ll just visit a local cafe. Any chance the network could stay up and running (and lose the Sideguide!) Wishful thinking, I guess, but it seems that at least for the area where the units have been installed, the hard work has been done. How easy would it be for some entity to keep feeding even a slow connection through the existing nodes. It is not sufficient for streaming anything, but works great for email, zipcar reservations, and other basic internet services. I think it could be appreciated as such ~ it is just that many people expect to feel that "Internet," and "Youtube" are synonymous. In fact, i find that browsing without video capabilities keeps me focused.

  5. Erica (helloerica) on May 18th, 2008 @ 9:58 am

    I honestly can’t figure out why they put so much money to it in the first place. The connection was terrible, unreliable, and pretty scattered as far as location goes. It could have been amazing but it’s definitely a FAIL!

  6. averagejoe on June 4th, 2008 @ 7:42 pm

    Did this ever really work? I have nothing but trouble with it when I’m downtown. It really can’t be that hard to have free wi-fi in the downtown area, can it?

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