Another muni Wi-Fi rollout on the rocks

Plans to bring wireless Internet to Boulder, Colorado and the surrounding metropolitan areas are being put on hold over funding issues.

The consortium called Colorado Wireless Communities was tasked with getting the funding to build out the networks in 10 cities from Lakewood to Boulder, a roughly 150 square mile area. The group is now unsure whether it can raise enough money.

According to the Lakewood City Council, each large participating city was expected to contribute $21,600 in 2007, then $14,000 in 2008, and $8,000 for every subsequent year. Boulder-based company C-Com called for between $15 and $20 million for deployment, including a $1 million dollar test buildout in a 2 mile area. CWC reported that though C-Com's model and vision had merit, it will be investigating other options.

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This should not yet be viewed as the end of the project, but it does appear that any network that gets built will arrive much later than initially anticipated.

When asked about the news by the Boulder Daily Camera about the issues, C-Com deferred back to CWC. "There's no new news that we can think of to tell you," president Bill Sweeney said.

C-Com is also trying to raise money for the build out, and has so far been unsuccessful. The company has twice scrapped plans for a test network in Boulder's downtown, and a city memo stated the reasoning was lack of funding.

Muni WiFi remains a costly and often times clumsy endeavor for many cities.

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