Hollywood, Florida failed WiFi network angers residents

In September 2011, I posted an article about the failure of Hollywood, Florida’s ambitious citywide Wi-Fi network and I thought that was the end of the story. However, according to the Sun Sentinel, the city is still negotiating with Johnson Controls, the integrator that deployed the network, on the amount that Johnson Controls will pay the the city for the network’s failure to deliver the cost savings estimated by the company:

In 2008, the city signed a contract with Johnson Controls to install Wi-Fi for $3.8 million, an automated water-meter reading system for $9.2 million, and solar-powered parking meters for $3.1 million. The city borrowed $16 million to pay for it. The aim was to install transmitters throughout the city that would enable digital water-meter readings, credit-card parking-meter payments and a secure police and fire network. The cherry-on-top fringe benefit: a free citywide wireless network. The Wi-Fi tanked for a lack of places to set up transmitters without signal interference from big buildings and towers.

What angers residents is they can still see the network’s SSID around the city and be reminded everyday of the broken promise of free Wi-Fi. In some cases, residents claim that the citywide Wi-Fi network interferes with their home Wi-Fi networks.

The Hollywood, Florida Wi-Fi network never delivered good, consistent Wi-Fi access, as you can see from the more than 90 comments, complaining about the service, in my original article about the network.

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