"Wickedly Fast" Wi-Fi Network Launched in San Jose

Friday, Mar 15, 2013  |  Updated 9:39 AM PDT
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Damian Trujillo

FILE ART- Wi-Fi service launched in San Jose on Thursday.

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San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, City Council Member San Liccardo and  technology executives cut a ceremonial Ethernet cable on Thursday to kick off  a new free Wi-Fi service in part of downtown San Jose.

Reed and Liccardo are participating in a midday news conference  outside of City Hall to launch the "Wickedly Fast" network, which will  provide Internet download speeds three to four times faster than those of  average outdoor Wi-Fi networks, a city spokesman said.

The network will be comparable to fast indoor-based networks,  allowing users to stream videos from websites like YouTube, Hulu and Netflix  on city sidewalks from their iPads, smartphones and laptops.
"We are able to provide that outdoors -- a wireless network for  the way we consume data today," said Vijay Sammeta, acting chief information  officer for San Jose.

"What you could only do indoors, you can now do outdoors," Sammeta  said.

The venture is a public-private partnership between the city of  San Jose and the companies Ruckus Wireless, of Sunnyvale, and SmartWAVE  Technologies LLC based in Suwanee, Ga.
San Jose invested about $94,000 into the network and will cover the $22,000 annually needed to maintain it, Sammeta said.

Ruckus provided about $150,000 worth of equipment, while SmartWAVE  furnished the engineering side to make sure the network operates at a high  speed, Sammeta said.
   

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