February 17, 2006

Houston releases draft RFP for city-wide Wi-Fi

The City of Houston is looking to get into ubitquitous Wi-Fi in a big way. Today, the City released a draft RFP soliciting companies to build a mixed-use, citywide network.

The draft explains the City's vision:

The City's vision is to apply ubiquitous, low-cost wireless Internet access as a foundation for the City of Houston to become the most efficient, effective and responsive city government in the nation—while stimulating economic development and promoting digital inclusion for low-income and disadvantaged residents.

It looks like Houston has chosen to follow the public/private partnership model that is becoming common. This allows the City to leverage its resources while reducing cost and risk to taxpayers.

One remarkable part of this proposal is that it explicitly embraces the concept of "net neutrality". The City will require that the operator open up the network to wholesale service, which would allow any ISP to particpate. Chalk that up to another exciting innovation that's being driven by muni networks.

Thanks to Dwight for the tip.

Posted by chip at February 17, 2006 08:38 PM | TrackBack
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