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Vendor Selected for “Wireless Wisconsin” Project

For more information contact:

George Twigg, 608-266-4611 (Mayor Cieslewicz)
Lesley Sillaman, 608-267-8823 (County Executive Falk)
Scott Larrivee, 608-266-7362 (Wisconsin Department of Administration)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/25/2005

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Service Would Provide Wireless Internet Access Downtown and at Airport

Madison – AOL-SkyCable has been recommended for negotiations for the right to provide “Wireless Wisconsin”, a wireless Internet service for the general public. The service would create a publicly-accessible “wi-fi” (wireless fidelity) network covering Madison and the Dane County Regional Airport, with provisions for expansion to other Wisconsin communities in the future.

AOL-SkyCable was one of three vendors that bid for the right to provide Wireless Wisconsin. The proposals were evaluated by a joint review team that included experts from the city, county and state. No taxpayer dollars will be used to build or operate the service. Access to a range of local websites would be free, and access to full Internet services would be available for a fee on a daily, monthly or long-term basis.

“From the minute people land at the Dane County Regional Airport, and throughout their travels in the area, people will have excellent wireless Internet service,” said Falk. “This service will opens up many fabulous opportunities from public safety to business communications, as well as helping residents and travelers stay connected.”

“Public wireless Internet access in Madison is one step closer to becoming a reality,” said Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz. “This initiative continues the city’s tradition of being at the leading edge of emerging technologies and is a major step forward for my Healthy City initiative.”

Wireless Wisconsin would make connecting to the Internet easier than ever. Visitors to the city could log on to the Internet at the Dane County Regional Airport, and make use of that connection downtown at hotels, businesses and restaurants. Local residents could surf the web at local restaurants and coffee shops throughout the downtown area. Downtown businesses and companies could use Wireless Wisconsin for their business Internet connection.

Today’s announcement is not the final step in the proposal process. AOL-SkyCable will now enter into negotiations with the city, county and state to develop specific contract language. In the event that negotiations are not successful, an alternative vendor will be given an opportunity to negotiate for the service.

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