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Portland to claim Metro-Fi equipment

Wed, 10/08/2008 - 8:30am
Brian Santo

It appears that moribund municipal Wi-Fi company Metro-Fi will not be able to sell its largest installation, in Portland, Ore.

Metro-Fi had been building municipal Wi-Fi networks in nine cities but was experiencing minimal usage and concurrent lack of success selling ads, which was supposed to support its services.

Six months ago, Metro-Fi ceased building out its network in Portland. Portland issued a breach of contract notice to Metro-Fi.

Metro-Fi was reported by the AP to be trying to sell the network to the City of Portland for $894,000. The city’s legal standpoint is that the equipment is abandoned. As such, Portland can take possession of the 600 antennas after a year, according the The Oregonian (story here).

The estimated cost of taking down the antennas is $36,000. The city will then attempt to sell the equipment to recoup some of its investment in the network.

The antennas were still powered and sending out signals as recently as last month, though they are no longer connected to any network.

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