I guess AT&T has decided if it can’t beat them, it might as well join them when it comes to the municipal WiFi projects that seem to be rapidly picking up steam all across the country. The scuttlebutt according to Om today (he sure is breaking a lot of stories recently!) is that AT&T will partner with MetroFi to design, build and operate muni WiFi networks, and that they will put in a bid soon for a WiFI network for Riverside, California.
As Om points out, this deal is a big win for both MetroFi and muni WiFi in general. It helps validate the idea of municipal WiFI, which up until this point AT&T and the other telcos have been fighting strongly against (and losing). Andy Abramson has a thoughtful post on the deal and its ramifications, calling it the Mother of All Fixed Mobile Convergence Plays, and pointing out that companies like BridgePort Networks that are building combined mobile/WiFi technology and devices are going to be poised to take advantage of the new services that these municipal WiFi networks are going to spur.