Sunnyvale, California Gets Free WiFi!

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Whee! Free wireless wifi right in our own backyard!

And it really is free – although to use the free service you have to be willing to accept the banner advertising which comes along with it. But hey, advertising while surfing the web is already part of the current paradigm (when did that happen, anyway?) and the price is certainly right!


Said Otto Lee, Vice Mayor (heh) of Sunnyvale, “We’re proud to be the first city in the United States to implement free advertising-sponsored Wi-Fi service for the benefit of residents and local businesses. We think it’s fitting that one of the major cities in the Silicon Valley, home to headquarters of leading high-tech companies, be the first to get advertiser-sponsored service off the ground.”

Are they actually the very first to get it up and running? (And is it up and running? See below for my observations.)

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Sunnyvale, California Gets Free WiFi!

According to Chuck Haas, CEO of MetroFi, “There’s been quite a lot of buzz in the Bay Area about free community wireless service, and MetroFi is the first company to deliver on its promises to implement it. Our Sunnyvale advertising-sponsored network, recently-launched free hot zones in San Francisco and subscription-based networks in Cupertino and Santa Clara make us one of the most experienced and action-oriented Wi-Fi providers in the country.”

Now, excited was I, so last night I whipped out my iBook, and drove around Sunnyvale in the area indicated by the map at MetroFi as being within the wifi cloud. In only one location did I actually pick up the MetroFi signal, and there I got an error when trying to connect.

But hey, that was just one test, and it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work – I think that I’ll need to do a lot more testing. So if you see a crazed professor, Starbucks in hand, walking or driving around with an open iBook, odds are that’s me.

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Sunnyvale, California Gets Free WiFi!

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4 Replies to “Sunnyvale, California Gets Free WiFi!”

  1. Thank you for sharing.
    Admittedly, i do not all the facts. But why remove free hardware when it is gifted and can be utilized? It is not like Sunnyvale School system is the best and anywhere close to Cupertino and Palo Alto. Free internet access at least for the families with Children should be a right and not a privilege, not to mention that local stores and businesses would also benefit. I am sure, one of the local companies — Broadcom, Not Another Box, or Linkedin would be glad to sponsor part of the costs.

  2. I would like to know, as a Sunnyvale Resident, when Sunnyvale will implement a city wide free wifi as San Jose, Santa Clara and Mountain View all have? Santa Clara’s Free Wifi is powered by SVP MeterConnect and maybe you can contact either one and find out how they implemented it. I cannot believe that Sunnyvale is behind all these other cities technology wise.

  3. MetroFi went out of business and offered the wifi already installed and operating to Sunnyvale. Instead of giving free wifi to citizens, they made MetroFi drive around and remove the wifi from power poles at very high cost. Stupid city councilmen Otto Lee, Anthony Spitaleri, Melinda Hamilton, Chris Moylan, John Howe, and Ron Swegles should be voted out of office for not keeping the wifi running as an emergency backup service.

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