Wireless Silicon Valley initiative selects Cisco-Azulstar-IBM-Seakay consortium

September 5, 2006
Municipal Wireless

The Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network municipal wireless contract was awarded to a consortium called Silicon Valley Metro Connect consisting of AzulStar (an ISP), Cisco, IBM and SeaKay, to build and operate Silicon Valley ’s regional wireless network that will serve 2.4 million people. From the press release:

The open wireless network will offer broadband wireless Internet access to all Silicon Valley residents, employees and visitors spanning 42 municipalities and nearly 1,500 square miles.

Brian Moura, chairman of SAMCAT and co-chairman of the Wireless Silicon Valley Initiative said, “We were impressed with Metro Connect’s vision of what the Wireless Silicon Valley network can become. They received high marks from the communities that have worked with them on city-wide and regional wireless network projects like this one. Metro Connect also delivered a convincing message on how their partner companies could address key aspects of the Wireless Silicon Valley RFP, such as technology, system integration, customer service and service delivery, economic development, local portals and Web sites, city applications and digital inclusion. We think they have the skills and tools to deliver the goods on this project.”

“Silicon Valley Metro Connect will build the network based on the latest Cisco Systems mesh wireless infrastructure technology, with a dynamic technology upgrade program to ensure long-term network vitality and scalability. IBM will provide network design and integration services, as well as innovative technology applications for public agencies and local utilities including: intelligent traffic solutions to regulate traffic and reduce congestion, and automated wireless utility and traffic metering. AzulStar Networks will act as the network operator for service provisioning of the 802.11b/g base wireless network. SeaKay will work with municipal and public benefit agencies to customize the network to their needs, and will also spearhead outreach and digital inclusion programs to meet the economic development and social benefit objectives of the network.”

“Silicon Valley Metro Connect’s privately owned and operated network will be supported by a sponsorship format that ensures a diverse stream of revenues so that the network can weather changes in technology and the economic environment over time. This sponsorship model is well suited to Silicon Valley ’s vision to improve and streamline collaboration between Bay Area communities.”

“Silicon Valley Metro Connect will offer up to 1Mb data speed for the free base service with built-in protection of user privacy and will include digital divide programs for economically disadvantaged users. It will also offer premium fee-based services such as wireless Voice Over IP and video streaming. Beginning in 2007, the Silicon Valley Wireless Network will leverage the WiMAX IEEE 802.16 wireless standard for the 2-11 Ghz operating bands, to offer greater throughput for mobile and fixed users and higher quality service for video, voice, and data.”

“The Wireless Silicon Valley Task Force sponsoring this project includes Russell Hancock, CEO and president, Joint Venture Silicon Valley; Seth Fearey, COO and VP, Joint Venture Silicon Valley; Eric Benhamou, chair of Smart Valley, 3COM Corp, and Palm, Inc.; Brian Moura, chairman, SAMCAT; Dan Fenton, president and CEO, San Jose Convention Center and Visitor’s Bureau.”