Wireless Washtenaw

Wireless Washtenaw

Wireless Washtenaw is a plan to provide free wireless broadband access throughout Washtenaw County, Michigan by December 2007. As of March 2007, the pilot network provided access to downtown Ann Arbor, Manchester, and Saline. [cite web | url = http://www.metromodemedia.com/devnews/wirelesswash13.aspx | title = Wireless Washtenaw completes pilot phase, county to go wireless by year's end | accessdate = 2007-05-22 | date = April 5, 2007 | publisher = metromode] The project has been delayed indefinitely due to lack of funding. [cite web | url = http://blog.mlive.com/annarbornews/2008/01/washtenaw_wireless.html | title = Washtenaw Wireless pushes ahead despite problems | accessdate = 2008-02-27 | date = 2008-01-29]

Project Goals

Washtenaw County, MI describes the goals of Wireless Washtenaw to be the following; [cite web | url = http://wireless.ewashtenaw.org/about/goals.html | title = Wireless Washtenaw - Project Goals | accessdate = 2007-07-18 | publisher = Washtenaw County, MI]

* Provide an economic development tool to attract and retain businesses
* Reduce the digital divide
* Improve County service delivery
* Facilitate wireless technology use for our citizens and visitors
* Create a seamless wireless infrastructure to attract and retain young professionals
* Establish a wireless broadband network without a burden on taxpayers

Timeline Objectives

*LinkMI Plan – January 2004
*Leadership Team Developed – June 2004
*Discovery Team Organized – September 2004
**11 organizations involved
*Exploration Teams - Goal: Investigate best practices
**Technology Team
**Communication Team
**Funding Model Team

*Stakeholder Meeting - March 28, 2005
*Request for Information Released - June 7, 2005
*Request for Information Opened - July 7, 2005
*Informational Meetings with RFI Respondents - July/August
*Request for Information Amended for Additional Feedback - October 12, 2005
*Master Participation Agreement Distributed to Local Units - November 2, 2005
*Request for Proposal Released - November 29, 2005
*Pre-Proposal Conference - December 14, 2005

*Board of Commissioners Approves MPA - March 1, 2006
*RFP Responses Due - March 7, 2006
*RFP Evaluations Complete - June 6, 2006
*Recommendation Presented to Advisory Board - June 15, 2006
*BOC Pilot Provider and Contract Approval - August 2, 2006
*Provider Agreement/Contract Finalized - September 26, 2006
*Pilot Deployment - October through November 2006

*Pilot Evaluation - January 19, 2007
*Pilot Phase Complete - February 28, 2007
*County-Wide Deployment Starts - June 2007

*Target Completition Date - First Quarter 2008
*Establishment of Governance Structure - First Quarter 2008

Current Coverage

In March 2007, 20/20 Communications completed the Wireless Washtenaw Pilot Phase. 20/20 is now in the Pre-Deployment phase of setting up Wireless Washtenaw.

Ann Arbor, MI

As of 11/17/2006, radios have been installed on street lamps or traffic signal arms on:

*Ashley and Liberty
*Main street from Washington to William
*Fourth Ave from Huron to Liberty
*Division from Huron to William
*State Street from Huron to South U.

Each radio transmits 300 to 600 feet depending on obstructions. These radios transmit the 802.11b and g WiFi signal in the 2.4GHz range.

Manchester, MI

Radios were installed on the Manchester water tower in November, 2006. They broadcast the pre-wimax 802.11a signal on the 5.7 GHz band in a 1.5 mile radius. Manchester area residents need to install a radio on their homes as well to receive and translate the signal.

Saline, MI

There are two separate types of signals in the Saline pilot. For home users, Radios have been installed on the Henry Street water tower. They broadcast in the 802.11a Pre-wimax WiFi signal covering an area 360 degrees for 1.5 miles. Residents need a radio mounted on their home to receive this signal. The downtown business Saline area on US-12 also receives the 802.11b and G WiFi signal on the 2.4 GHz band.

Private Sector Partnerships

Washtenaw County, MI issued a Request for Information on June 7th 2005, by the June 29th, 2005 deadline set fourth by the county, 23 private sector corporations responded to the RFI were received These companies include:

*20/20 Communications
* [http://www.a2fg.com Air Advantage Franchising Group]
*Belair (with Winncom and Nomadix)
*ITP Wireless
*Michigan Broadband Systems
*PCS Broadband
*Quality Technologies
*SpotFone, Inc
*Tropos Networks
*Vivato (with Pronto Networks)
*Washtenaw Wideopen Wireless (Cybernet, Synergy, IC.Net)
*Wireless Resources (Nortel, Comp-U-Ware, Airpath)

After reviewing the results of the Wireless Washtenaw RFI the county release a Request For Proposal on November 29, 2005.

On June 15, 2006 the Wireless Washtenaw Advisory Board recommended to the county that 20/20 Communications be selected as the private sector partner for Wireless Washtenaw.

The recommendation was given final approval on August 2nd, 2006.


External links

* [http://wireless.ewashtenaw.org/ Wireless Washtenaw]
* [http://www.2020comm.com/ww 20/20 Communications Wireless Washtenaw Website]

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