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Joint effort between Nassau and Suffolk to build network garners bids from 14, including Cablevision, Verizon

Tue, 09/12/2006 - 8:33am

Newsday (New York)
September 12, 2006 Tuesday
NASSAU AND SUFFOLK EDITION
By Chau Lam, Staff Writer
From Lexis Nexis

A joint venture by Nassau and Suffolk to build a broadband network creating wireless access to the Internet in the area has attracted interest from 14 companies, including an array of out-of-state firms.

Cablevision was among those responding to the counties' solicitation for information and comments on their ambitious project to build municipal Wireless Fidelity, or Wi-Fi, networks.

"At this stage we wanted to get ideas about what different companies can do because there are different technologies out there," said Legis. Wayne Horsley (D-Babylon), co-chairman of the Suffolk-Nassau Wireless Committee.

In its written response, Cablevision suggested that the counties roll out the wireless service in different phases, beginning with what the company described as "hot zones," highly populated and trafficked areas, and "hot spots," selected unpopulated recreational areas.

For a commercial entity to provide Long Islanders "free" wireless connection to the Internet, the company can't rely on subscription fees for enhanced services alone and needs to find other ways to make money, including direct marketing and advertising.
 
"This option has been popularized by Google's proposal to the City of San Francisco," Cablevision said. Google has offered free wireless service to that city.

Verizon, which also sells broadband services, also submitted ideas to the Suffolk-Nassau Wireless Committee, which is overseeing the project.

If the project advances as expected, Suffolk and Nassau would join New York City and dozens of other localities nationwide that have built or are building high-speed muni- cipal Wi-Fi networks.

The companies that responded to the counties' request for information and comments include ADC, of Eden Prairie, Minn.; Barrier Communications Corp., New York City; Beacon Professional Group, Basking Ridge, N.J.; Cablevision, Bethpage; COMTek Communication Technologies of Chantilly, Va.; and E-Path Communications of Tampa, Fla.

Others are HD Communications Corp., Ronkonkoma; IBM, of upstate Armonk; Motorola of Schaumburg, Ill.; National Grid Wireless, Boxborough, Mass.; nDosa Technologies Inc., Fairfield, N.J.; Stratum Broadband, Medway, Mass.; SureData, Riverhead; and Verizon.

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