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Sacramento Wi-Fi Deployment Hits A Wall

In a blow to the relentless rollout of Wi-Fi in municipalities across the U.S., MobilePro said Friday that it is dropping out of the project to bring the wireless technology to the city of Sacramento.

MobilePro, which has been deploying Wi-Fi in several U.S. communities, said new demands by the California capital city led the firm to believe the project is no longer "financially sustainable."

The Bethesda, Maryland-based firm won a competitive bid last year to work on the Sacramento project, beating out competitors including Motorola and SBC Communications.

A pilot project offering outdoor public Wi-Fi Web access and realtime video was inaugurated in the city's Cesar Chavez Plaza Park with great fanfare in April. The initial phase had the support of city officials and MobilePro.

In the Friday announcement, MobilePro noted that it had been declared the winner of an RFP for the project. The firm complained that after it went through a lengthy permitting process, the city made a "counter proposal requiring that the company establish a free high-speed wireless network supported almost exclusively by advertising revenue without the benefit of the city serving as an anchor tenant."

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