Arizona’s Pinal County pursues wireless cloud

The small cities and towns of Pinal County, Arizona, still stuck with only dialup access to the Internet, are working to create a wireless cloud to make broadband access available county-wide within two years.

The key driver in Pinel County, as with most areas that still await broadband, is to spur economic development. According to a story in the Arizona Republic “If the plan is successful, Pinal County could be the first in the nation to provide countywide Wi-Fi access for an area of its size.”

We’ve been hearing first-in-the-nation reports on muni wireless for some years now. This is not to say the story is not correct; it does not specify the county’s size. What’s of interest here is simply that this is a large remote area but the successes of the towns within it give credence to the observation that Glenn Fleishman made yesterday that muni wireless in small and mid-sized cities seems to be thriving even as large-scale deployments have foundered.

We’ve seen geographically ambitious projects get in trouble before. The difficulties that wireless initiatives in Silicon Valley and Sacramento have had just getting off the ground have become ongoing editorial fodder for all of us covering the progress of muni wireless deployments.

But unlike headliner deployments like Wireless Silicon Valley, which is struggling to get funding together and pilot projects deployed, the Pinal County network would be treated as a public utility with the county owning and operating it.

What’s more, the county appears to taking on the deployment in manageable bites. The town of Superior successfully launched a municipal network in June. Two months ago, the county received a $190,000 USDA grant to bring high-speed Internet access to the town of Eloy and expects to have service available there next year.

Click here to read the story.


  1. Is this system ready to go.I will be arriving at 11 mile corner road on the 3 N0v 08 will I be able to get the service
    Bob Pook

  2. The only way to find out is to show up and turn on your laptop and see if it’s there. Let us know if there is service.