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Are We Wireless Yet

"Installation is currently in progress," is the message that appeared on US Internet's website when attempts were made last week Wednesday to order wireless internet service for parts of downtown, the University's West Bank and for the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.

Service was scheduled for current availability in these pilot areas, but construction and technical setbacks have delayed the realization of the City of Minneapolis' plan to provide affordable high-speed wireless service for residents in all of its 59 square miles.
According to US Internet, almost 1,000 consumers have pre-registered for the service, in addition to 250 people who were allowed to sign up in the square-mile test area of east Minneapolis last year.

"The new service has not gone 'live' in any part of the city," US Internet co-founder Kurt Lange told prospective users on a Star and Tribune web blog after a critical review of his service appeared in the paper the middle of last month. "Two areas are in process but neither is live. Those areas are still being optimized and tested," he said.

"Our goal as US Internet is to make Minneapolis our showpiece and to make it perfect," said US Internet CEO Joe Caldwell in a February interview with "Because that will give us the ticket to go around the country," he said.

"Any IT director who's carried out even a small-scale project within one building can tell you it’s no piece of cake,” wrote eweek's Carol Ellison about Philadelphia's wireless internet project in 2005. "Every deployment has its problems, and the bigger the deployment, the bigger the problems," she observed.



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