Apparently Rio Rancho Is Not Happy With Azulstar

When I wrote about Albuquerque’s (or just the Mayors) desire to have city wide WiFi, I was wondering why Rio Rancho’s efforts were considered to be a bad thing. Apparently the city feels the contract with Azulstar is in breach.

According to the letter, the breaches include incomplete installation of equipment, inconsistent coverage, minimal customer service, improperly installed equipment, nonpayment of PNM electricity bills and nonpayment of a bond for almost $30,000 owed to the city.Azulstar cancelled the insurance on its equipment on April 19, which violates the contract. The company also did not complete an application for a permit required to install the equipment.

Yikes! The Observer did some testing of wireless signal throughout town and found it flakey. As a matter of fact, I usually don’t get much of a signal in various places myself. At my house, I don’t get a signal from Azulstar at all. I was able to use the wireless service at a Rio Rancho public park a while back without any problem and a friend has signed up for the service and likes it. They even came out and installed a repeater on their house.

There’s some other interesting tidbits in that article as well, like residents of the city are suppose to get 8 hours of free service a month. I wonder how that works

There is competiton. Roadrunner Wireless Services, Inc. has antennas up all over the city. I get a strong signal at my house from their various access points and pretty much everywhere I go in the city. Yet I have some reservations about a company that’s about the latest technologies, yet their website looks like it was designed in 1995. It doesn’t load properly when viewed on the internet. When viewed from their access point, your treated to layout done in tables, a starry background and animated gifs.

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Albuquerque Wants Free WiFi Citywide

The Mayor of Albuquerque wants free WiFi for everyone in the city.

a two-tiered wireless Internet signal covering the entire city that will support not just the basics of Web surfing, e-mail and the like, but phone service and video. Those two tiers are a free, 1 megabit signal for anyone and a premium service at 3 Mb for a “reasonable” cost.

Of course Comcast and Qwest don’t like it. I say screw ’em. Qwest especially doesn’t seem interested in offering extra services and Comcast would probably force everyone to pay $10/month for cable before you can use it. It’s the technical issues and money that will keep this from happening.

One wireless provider estimates it would cost $25 million and would require a access point on every building in the city, I think that’s overblown. They cite the problems that Rio Rancho has had completing it’s network. I thought Rio Rancho had completed it’s network.

I hope they try it anyways. I could use some free wifi when I have to drive into Albuquerque