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April 25, 2006

As Wifi Grows, So Do the PR Attacks

An AP story ran yesterday suggesting there are problems with a city-wide Wifi network in St. Cloud, Florida.  What is amazing here is that the writer talks to 3 people total and then infers many grand assumptions.

Here are the facts:

  1. In a few short weeks over 3600 residents of St. Cloud have registered for the service.  This is a higher penetration rate (by an order of magnitude) that EVDO has seen in any city.
  2. The performance of the network is as high as 10X over EVDO downstream, and 100X upstream.
  3. The gentleman that complained is outside the coverage zone and can't get service.  In other words, teh big negative here is that more people want it than can get it.  Hmmm....
  4. EVDO is not planned to be dployed in a town this size (28K residents) anytime soon.  The carriers are focused on the higher denisty cities.

Talk to the people and policy makers in St. Cloud and they will tell you this is a huge success.  They post updates frequently.

Esme gets is right over at MuniWireless.

Better performance than EVDO at a much lower cost.  You won't stop this with an AP article.  Are their issues?  Sure, but I drop 5 cell calls a day in Silicon Valley and that technology (cellular voice) is over 25 years old. 

Posted by Bill Gurley on April 25, 2006 at 09:21 AM | Permalink

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DISCLOSURE: The information contained Above the Crowd has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but is not necessarily complete, and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Any opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice. The author is a general partner of Benchmark Capital, a venture capital firm in Menlo Park, Calif. Benchmark Capital and its affiliated companies and/or individuals may have economic interests in the companies discussed herein. © J. William Gurley 2005-2006. All rights reserved.