Last week I was saying that what we need to hear about is some case studies of unsuccessful FTTH projects. Well, today I read about the failures in the St Louis Park WiFi project. The last I heard it wasn’t going well – and it seems that the situation hasn’t changed. It sounds as if the network isn’t working, the publically placed equipment is still ugly as sin, and the project has been expensive.
Well I was reminded of the project in a post from someone called Freedom Dogs. His decsripiton of the WiFi equipment on the street was great when he said it “looked like an 8th grade science project.” I’m going to go out on a limb and admit that I’m probably more liberal than Freedom Dog. His last line quotes another resource and sums up the tenor of his article:
FFM has a summary graph that I could not put better myself: The simple lesson: All taxpayers are put at extraordinary risk when local government gets involved in these risky projects.
My focus might not be so much on government getting involved in risky projects. Just yesterday I talked about how Kentucky risked getting involved in broadband and won. I would focus on the need to mitigate risk.
It seems as if the big hiccup with St Louis Park was that they selected a vendor they didn’t like – or ended up not liking. Also, they were going to be the first to go green and get broadband in one fell swoop. It seems to me that maybe they needed to do more research at the front end to perhaps choose a different contractor for the work or to re-think the go green aspect.