Cutler Bay not the first test area
On his re-election website listing his achievements, Cutler Bay Council Member Ernie Sochin proudly announces “For one, the Wi Fi project is near the starting point."
On July 15th, 2006 the Miami Herald reported that experts were skeptical about Miami-Dade officials desire to provide affordable wireless Internet access across the entire county. Experts believed that it was too expensive the technology was untested.
Quoting Daniel Aghion, the executive director of the Wireless Internet Institute in Boston the article said there was a gap between the expectations of elected officials and the ability of industry to deliver on them. The article further went on to say that increasingly, governments believe wireless Internet is a utility, just like electricity, and Miami-Dade is among a ''few hundred'' across the nation that are looking into providing it. But Aghion told the Miami Herald few cities have actually deployed the networks and "a lot of . . . experiments will probably not go as planned.'
On March 4th, 2007 in an email to me Ernie Sochin Said "I just attended a meeting at Mayor Alvarez’s office. The county is planning a county wide system of which Cutler Bay will be the first test area. (I bugged then a bit). There are some questions as to the cost; something I am addressing with them. When completed, it will be the largest Wi-Fi network in the world.
I have not convened the committee because I am awaiting the final decisions from the county, probably by this summer. I have been attending all the workshops and meetings on the subject and have no intentions on letting it slide."
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez is expected to announce next month that he will no longer seek to build a countywide wireless-Internet system.
Instead of blanketing the county -- or a handful of densely populated neighborhoods, which he had planned as a pilot project -- Alvarez convinced four private companies to temporarily donate service and loan equipment at four public parks.
Cutler Bay unfortunately will not be the first test area. The first network will be activated at Tropical Park, followed in February by Tamiami, Goulds and Amelia Earhart parks.