Portland's "Free-Internet" Provider, MetroFi, Bites The Dust

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A service that barely worked anyway appears to be out the door. Here is the email I just received from them:

Dear MetroFi User,

It is with regret that we notify you of our intentions to discontinue
offering the MetroFi FREE and MetroFi Premium services in Portland. We are
in the process of negotiating with a 3rd party network operator to keep the
network in place, and during this time your services will not be affected.
As soon as we know the outcome of these negotiations, we will provide you
with further information.

Thank you,
The MetroFi Team

Who might that 3rd party be you might ask…well, how about the city of Portland and more of our tax money? Because, that is what they are trying to do. For the most part, I am decently happy with Portland's city government. I don't expect much I guess except not screwing things up. Well, this was a huge screw-up! Can the city sue these people? Sam Adams, come on…do it.

What's even more upsetting is that it could have easily been avoided by having the city build, operate, and own the system. OR, how about those guys at Personal Telco who have been doing a great job for years and continue to do so?

Ridiculous…you can read some of my previous pieces on this garbage and see a couple lies MetroFi wrote back

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0 Responses to Portland's "Free-Internet" Provider, MetroFi, Bites The Dust

  1. Phyllis May 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    To tell you the truth, I didn’t find Metro-Fi that bad. Of course, I could only use it from the southmost corner of my kitchen but it worked pretty well from there.

    Still, it was only as good as a free service could be. And when I really needed something done online, I used my Comcast account. Not wireless, but reliable.

  2. Ethan May 22, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    Oh MetroFi, how I will miss thee. For all the pain it was to get hooked up and running, I’ve actually enjoyed about 4 free months of internet. Good enough for Transittracker, Zipcar rentals, etc.

  3. saintgoldie May 23, 2008 at 7:33 am #

    Good riddance! What a colossal waste of time trying to get on the internet with constant fail fail fail! I hope PDX figures out how to get internet to poor people… the libraries are getting packed to the gills!!!

  4. Lungfish May 25, 2008 at 10:57 pm #

    Such a great idea ruined so well by business and bureaucracy. Portland SHOULD have built this itself; I heard that Free Geek offered to help, revenue brought in from platinum accounts would eventually cover the cost of laying what fiberoptics would need to be laid and hanging the wifi transmiters, after the premium service paying for the infrastructure the money generated beyond the minimal operating costs could go into a Portland rainy-day fund. And now that the UN is trying to tell everyone that internet access should be considered a basic human right, we need to get on the ball. Free wifi everywhere should be a “no duh” goal for a city that wants to the hip and friendly destination for the tech savvy businesses and creative class, and is exactly the kind of creative way to draw exactly the kind of jobs that Portland wants. Oh man, the more I think about city-wide free wifi not happening, the angrier I’m getting. I might even march to city hall or something.

  5. Austin May 26, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    Well, looks like I’ll be phased out of the internet. ;(

  6. Ethan May 28, 2008 at 5:14 pm #

    I don’t think they MetroFi or Micro$oft ever “got it.” The Sideguide would bog everything down and it would advertise for innane news stories and video service, which certainly wasn’t the strength of MetroFi. If Google and Craigslist (or the like) had run it, I think it would have worked quite well.

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