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City of Chicago seeks comments on wireless broadband

Using technology to create a buzz, the City of Chicago will be releasing a draft wireless broadband request for proposal (RFP) and seek comments from the public before it releases a final RFP to expand broadband delivery throughout Chicago's neighborhoods.

Chicago's commitment to expanding broadband delivery is a realization that high-speed digital infrastructure is now a must-have for businesses, and many residents as well.  Cities from Philadelphia to San Francisco to neighboring Milwaukee are moving forward with public wireless networks.  How will Chicago's inititative happen?   Will it include high speed services in addition to public access Wi Fi?  Let your thoughts be known by submitting comments once the draft is made available.

The effort comes two years after MPC issued "From Broad Shoulders to Broadband," illustrating the need for high-speed infrastructure in Chicago's neighborhoods.  The study demonstrated many neighborhoods are lacking in infrastructure, particularly at higher speeds (3 megabits and more).  With technology ever-changing, wireless networks can play an important part in serving this need, especially if they are linked with a fiber backbone.

Below is a copy of the City of Chicago Wireless Network RFP notification.  This site will be updated with a link to the draft RFP once it is made available.

The City of Chicago has developed an initiative to make affordable broadband services available throughout the city. The city intends to issue an RFP in late Spring 2006, to solicit proposals from private sector companies for the financing, installation and management of a Wireless Broadband Network for the City of Chicago . Please note that Chicago is not seeking to create a municipally owned utility -- it will not own the network, nor will it maintain, operate, upgrade, or support the customers who use it. Prior to final issuance of the RFP, in early May 2006, the city will post a draft of the RFP at www.cityofchicago.org/wirelessrfp  for the purpose of allowing interested parties to comment or suggest improvements to the RFP.

During the comment period, the city may incorporate suggested revisions that have been determined to add value to the RFP. A written response will not be provided to each respondent; however communications may be initiated by the city to acquire clarification to a response submission.

MPC encourages you to provide your feedback. Please submit responses to wirelessrfp@cityofchicago.org.

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