Toledo RFP nets two proposals

Toledo, Ohio, received two proposals to its RFP to build a citywide wireless network. MetroFi and Buckeye CableSystem responded but neither proposal grants the city’s request for free service for city operations.Toledo, Ohio, received two proposals to its RFP to build a citywide wireless network. MetroFi and Buckeye CableSystem responded but neither proposal grants the city’s request for free service for city operations.

According to a summary in the Toledo Blade, MetroFi proposed free advertising-supported access for consumers with a fee of $19.95 per month for ad-free service. Under its plan, the city would serve as anchor tenant on the network, paying fees of at least $2.2 million over five years and as much as $4.3 million if a licensed public safety frequency is added. In its RFP, Toledo cited public safety as its chief concern in deploying a network.

I’ve been communicating with Toledo CIO Patsy Scott about the city’s plans. She tells me “the response from MetroFi looked very good. None of the potential proposers requested more time except Verizon who asked the question on a holiday, President’s Day. By the time the message was received, it was too late to consider the request.”

It’s too bad Verizon did not submit its request earlier, as it would have been interesting to see what the company had in mind. In spite of being one of the country’s largest telecommunications and broadband providers, Verizon has been noticeable by its absence from most muni-WiFi discussions. Verizon, you’ll recall, played a major role in passing the anti-muni House Bill in Pennsylvania. It’s good to see they’re entertaining thoughts of joining the market. We’ve always said ‘the more competitors in the muni space, the better.’

According to the Blade article, Buckeye CableSystem’s proposal estimated the cost of the network between $11 million and $17.6 million and proposed a three-phase plan in which it would conduct a needs analysis, build a demonstration network, and then complete the buildout. Buckeye also recommended that the city be an anchor tenant.

Click here to read the story in the Toledo Blade.

Comments

  1. T Alan Wolfen says:

    Toledo going with a City-wide Wifi Initiative is like driving a car without tires. Especially since, the Request for Bids specified that the City would be getting FREE access in all Public Buildings and for the Police and Fire Departments and not pay a dime. This is good in theory, but there is no free rides; plus there are Federal Grants available for this type of Project to be started.

    The both companies that have submitted a proposals has also told the City of Toledo that they will have to be paying for access and the one has already applied for Wifi Permits from the FTC. The City Government is going about the Wifi Project with a knee jerk mentality and trying to get caught up with the larger cities that are already Wifi enabled or are going this way.