Chaska Citizens & Council Question Chaska.net Muni WiFi
A while back, I made a big stink about how the “Poster Boy” of Muni Wireless, Chaska Minnesota, was having trouble with their network’s performance. My beef wasn’t so much that a new technology has to go through some hurdles to get mature, but more because the proponents of the network had painted such a rosy picture of the network for two years running, only to leak information that it actually performed poorly for the first 18 months “but now is good”. I said there was a “credibility gap” from those proponents. So I was labelled a telco shill in a discussion at MuniWireless.org. But my problem wasnt’t with the politics of a municipal government competing with telcos, it’s with the mis-use of the wrong technology (Wi-Fi) to do so – like bringing a knife to a gunfight. So here’s an update: the Chaska Herald reported this month that there has been a “barrage of complaints about the city’s wireless Internet service”, and that at a town meeting, Councilor Gino Businaro asked, “Are we marketing a product that we can’t deliver?”. The paper then encourages feedback from readers, who have mixed reviews. Basically, if you live under an access point, you like Chaska.net, if you live elsewhere, you don’t. I feel sorry for Chaska citizens. I think they were sold a bill of goods, and the salesmen have moved on to greener pastures…and to add insult to injury, are using Chaska as a success reference case. (pdf link).