This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 22, 2008 1:42 PM. The previous post in this blog was Mission accomplished. The next post in this blog is One of those come-on headlines. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The days dwindle down to a precious few

Dear MetroFi User,

It is with regret that we notify you of our intentions to discontinue
offering the MetroFi FREE and MetroFi Premium services in Portland. We are
in the process of negotiating with a 3rd party network operator to keep the
network in place, and during this time your services will not be affected.
As soon as we know the outcome of these negotiations, we will provide you
with further information.

Thank you,
The MetroFi Team

Comments (9)

your services will not be affected

Probably the most dispiriting phrase in the whole sorry affair.


Darkest of night
With the moon shining bright
There's a cloud goin' strong
Lotta things goin' on
The server of the hour
Has an air of great power
Other towns have envied it for so long

Oooh, MetroFi
You're gonna make your fortune by and by
But if you lose, don't ask no questions why
The only game you know is Do or Die


(Hard to understand, but a hell of a scam.)

What, just "regret"? Not "great regret" or "embarrassment"?

Step 1: Get lots of OPM (other people's money) with unrealistic rollout/adoption schedules.

Step 2: Get free right of way, sign exclusive contracts.

Step 3: Overpromise/underdeliver.

Step 4: Sell advertising.

Step 5: Profit (or file bankruptcy).

Here's a hardware variation on the same theme (please don't invest in their lousy penny stock: in my humble opinion, it's a pure fraud).


We are about to witness the City of Portland do it all over again, with $500 million of taxpayer funded muni bonds: FTTP is the name of this shell game.

Upside: 327 new union employees/voters.

Under Mayor Adams, we can expect to see a lot more of these poorly thought-out, money-wasting, poorly managed boondoggles.

How much is this boondoggle costing us? In REAL dollars, taxpayer dollars?

They knew from the beginning WiMax was the way to go. So what are we forking out for this pipe dream?

If WiMax is the way to go, we should be talking to Clearwire about a collaborative agreement, rather than spending half a BILLION dollars on city owned FTTP.

The taxpayer'\s covered Logan's salary and benefits for the past few years, plus all the staff/legal/consulting fees for studying, implementing, terminating the agreement.

Not to mention all the lost revenue for the right of way that was given (instead of sold) to MetroFi. Do you think Erik would have let Comcast or Qwest hang all their hardware from the telephone polls and stoplights for free?

I'm confident that no matter what technology Portland invests in, it will be functionally obsolete or cost more than Comcast's alternative by the time we get it fully deployed.


I asked Brendan Finn about that yesterday. He said that no city money was spent on the Metrofi project.

If you're disappointed with MetroFi, and the way the Unwire Portland initiative played out, please consider giving some time or money to the Personal Telco Project. We are an eight-year-old non-profit dedicated to putting Portlanders in control of their own communications networks.

To this end, we have deployed and assisted others in deploying free Wi-Fi all over the city. We appreciate the accolades we've earned from Jack and some of the commenters here, but we can't do this without the help of interested Portlanders like you.

Ask not what Free Wi-Fi can do for your; ask what you can do for Free Wi-Fi.

Michael Weinberg
Personal Telco Project

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