On Feb 27, 2006, at 1:00 AM, Haudy Kazemi wrote:

> I hope that things go more in the direction of city-wide wifi, and  
> I think
> VOIP on PDAs (and on UMA cell phone devices in the near future) is  
> a good
> reason to go towards a wifi broadband solution rather than tearing  
> up the
> streets for more copper or fiber.

One of the things they're doing is mapping existing resources,  
including fiber. My understanding is that St. Paul is in a relatively  
good position in terms of existing dark fiber and conduit.
The instructions from the council direct the consultants to come up  
with three recommendations encompassing both the best combination of  
technologies for the city, and on the best business model. Thanks to  
Councilor Thune, the consultants are also directed to explain the  
other models they evaluated and why they were not recommended.

> At 10:38 PM 2/25/2006 -0600, mgenelin at fastcomputerserviceco.com wrote:
> Hey gang-
> I was kind of disappointed by the conversation at the Feb 22, 2006  
> meeting.
> I expected a debate about whether St. Paul should be in the Wifi  
> business.
> What happened instead was a hour long meeting about "what can we do  
> with
> high speed internet." While that's an interesting meeting on it's  
> own, it
> came off more like a sales-pitch to the citizens of St. Paul (which
> includes me) rather then a real discussion about how city-wide Wifi  
> will
> change our lives.

I understand your concern, but I think that stemmed from the need to  
gather input in some relatively organized fashion. They didn't know  
what the knowledge level in the room would be (it turned out to be  
quite high). And they truly have not made any decisions yet about  
what form this will all take.
This is just the start of the process, so I encourage you to stay  
involved and voice your comments and concerns at every opportunity.  
If you're a business owner, find out about the business fora. And be  
ready to comment on the report when it is released in April. That's  
the only way City Hall can know that citizens are thinking about all  

Becca Vargo Daggett
Insitute for Local Self-Reliance, http://www.newrules.org