Milpitas to use citywide wireless network for muni purposes

The city council of Milpitas, California voted unanimously to take the city’s muni Wi-Fi network back from EarthLink. The city will use the network for municipal use only. The police department has been using a municipal Wi-Fi network since 2004.

The city plans to provide public Internet access at the city council chambers, sports and community centers, but not citywide. The network assets are valued at approximately $800,000, some of which the city is planning to sell. The annual cost of running the network is $12,000.

It isn’t surprising that the city is backing down from providing citywide Wi-Fi access. Doing so would require them to pay more in electricity costs and maintenance. It would also require the city to market the service and provide support to customers. They could find a service provider to run the public access part.