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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Testing, 1-2-3

A reader writes:

What have you been hearing about the free MetroFi wireless cloud? I had a guy tell me he got better-than-promised speeds the other day, but I tried it an hour ago and couldn't get connected at all.

I was down at Roadside Attraction, which is a pretty cool new place in town (SE 12th & Yamhill). Clearly in the heart of the first WiFi area. I click on the little network icon, click on "View Wireless Connections" and click on the free MetroFi. Nothing. Doesn't connect. My wireless card sees the wifi source, but doesn't complete the connection. There was, however, another wireless source in the area, probably a nearby house, and I was able to connect to that and get on the Internet. So I go to the MetroFi page and their help and support section. The instructions they gave for "Windows XP laptop" bore no resemblance to what I had on my Windows XP laptop.

Anyway, I surmise the guys from the Water Bureau are now running the WiFi service.

Comments (11)

The Water Bureau's o.k. The fellows who used to run the Water Bureau are not.

Progs in Madison, Wisconsin are trying to replicate a cloud of smug just like ours, but there is some resistance. Read: here.

". . . a Portland alderman . . . " How quaint! They would be the people that hang out between Morrison and Washington, I guess.

I work at 5th & Jefferson, with 4 access points around me, each about 2 blocks away.
I cant even get it to show up as available.

I haven't had a problem yet, but I'm not counting on MetroFi yet. I also have a Mac, so connecting tends to be easier...

Just recently something called www.personaltelco.net has shown up on my available network list, but with a signal too weak to connect to. (I'm many blocks north of the supposed MetroFi cloud.) Is that what that network is called?

No, PersonalTelco is the group of guys who have put up free nodes all around the city and have been doing so for about 4 or 5 years. They have a real substantial presence on Mississippi Ave area. You can see a map of all their nodes here: http://map.personaltelco.net/

I think some of the folks involved in PeronalTelco were involved in one of the companies (VeriLAN?) that competed with MetroFi for the city contract.

Also, you can see a (not very good) map of the MetroFi nodes here: http://www.metrofi.com/cities-16.html
I believe that MetroFi's nodes are called "MetroFi-Free".

Personal Telco is the private, free wifi that has been around since 2000.


Someone told me, at this point, that only 250 users can be on it at a time. Not sure if that's true/played a factor.

They say you can get great reception in Pioneer Square. Whoopee. As if a lot people are going to be opening up their laptops in PiSquare in this weather. Besides, you have to go down to Salmon St. Springs to find a public electric outlet.

It doesn't really have to WORK----it just has to be a talking point that can be disseminated around the country so that we can attract "creative class" types. It also helps in marketing high rise condos. (Sort of the urban equivalent of the 1950's scheme, "I've got 40 beautiful acres in Christmas Valley you would love.") (A true scheme that worked, to sell desert property, and also a great piece of desert, except there aren't many fir trees there).

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