Boston Requesting Information

The nonprofit openairboston.net is ready to issue an RFI for citywide Wi-Fi.
Openairboston.net (OAB), the nonprofit that will run an eventual citywide Wi-Fi network for the city of Boston, has issued a Request for Information (RFI) with the goal of finding a system integrator to build out the eventual network.

The nonprofit was first announced in the summer of 2006, saying it wanted to raise $16 to $20 million to build the network, with money coming from local businesses and financial foundations and perhaps the city. In October, the mayor got behind the plan and helped announce various hotspots and hotzones around the area, run by competing vendors. The service in Roxbury, operated by Galaxy Internet Services, is considered the OAB Demonstration Pilot hotzone. It serves a potential customer base of 21,000 people.

Pam Reeve, the interim CEO of OAB, appointed by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, says the RFI "is both lengthy and detailed in order to better prepare potential respondents." Today the group will have its first organizational conference call for interested parties at 1pm ET, with an audio file version available afterward at their site.

An RFP -- Request for Proposal -- will come later this year.

This article was first published on WiFiPlanet.com.

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