Personal Telco/UnWire PDX Responds to the Current Metrofi Debacle

This comment was left by Russel (thanks) yesterday in response to my blog about shotty MetroFi coverage (OPB discovers that Metrofi is crap unless you are Kristian Foden-Vencil).

It sheds some light on the current situation and their website has ongoing coverage on making PDX a wireless metropolis.

Russell Senior Says:
July 21st, 2007 at 11:09 pm

  1. Caleb Phillips and I performed an independent assessment of MetroFi coverage. The standard set out in the contract between the City and MetroFi was 90% of outdoor areas within the proof-of-concept network. The definition of the proof-of-concept that metrofi and the city agreed to was within 500 feet of an access point. Turns out that by that definition, the proof-of-concept network area was only 1.6 square miles, less than the minimum of 2 square miles called for in the contract, and less expansive than the 2.5 square miles claimed by MetroFi in public.In our investigation, we made a random selection of locations that were outdoors within 500 feet of an access point. We went to each of 53 locations and measured the ability to make a connection (minimum 64kbps up/down). We found that we were able to make a connection in 31 of those locations and failed in 22. The probability of a network with 90% outdoor coverage having that ratio of successes and failures is 2 in a billion.

    I believe that the fundamental problem is that at greater ranges, the access point is not able to hear the relatively weak radios in typical client devices.

    You can read our complete report (about 10 megabytes) at:

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One Response to Personal Telco/UnWire PDX Responds to the Current Metrofi Debacle

  1. Ethan May 13, 2008 at 1:28 am #

    I have been a habitual user of MetroFi for a few months now. I don’t mind the ads, or anything, since I’ve been able to check email, read blogs, etc without the hassle of paying anybody. That said, I still require some modicum of service, and recently, my MSN Sideguide has been acting up prolifically. and if you search Google or MSN for “MSN SideGuide” you get this:

    Parse error: parse error, expecting `T_OLD_FUNCTION’ or `T_FUNCTION’ or `T_VAR’ or `’}” in /opt/metrofi/access-server/www/lib/mfAppConfiguration.php on line 3

    Fatal error: Cannot instantiate non-existent class: mfappconfiguration in /opt/metrofi/access-server/www/index.php on line 7

    Clearly… Microsoft is not babysitting Sideguide. So what are us Wndows Users left to do… Buy a Linux Machine? Metrofi isn’t favoring Mac and Linux Users… Is it?

    Apple, Linux, and other operating systems will not be required to download an application to access the MetroFi service at this time.

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