Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Minneapolis wifi CBA implementation

Peter Fleck, a member of the Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee, posted some info yesterday about the implementation of the Minneapolis Wireless CBA. Among his findings:
  • The wireless provider complied with the initial $500,000 funding requirement. The Committee has so far disbursed about $400,000.
  • Although required to put 5% of its pretax earnings into the community fund, the wireless provider has not yet done so.
  • The wireless provider has established a "walled garden," which means basically that anybody who can get a wifi signal can gain access to the city's website and some neighborhood websites.
  • So far, 51 out of 100 free accounts have been awarded to community technology centers.
  • The wireless provider has not helped the Committee with fundraising, as it's obligated to do.
  • Nor has the wireless provider held biannual community meetings.
The Committee has a meeting Wednesday, and Mr. Fleck hopes that some of these issues can be addressed.

1 comment:

Peter Fleck said...

Thanks for posting this, Amy. I can clarify some of this post-meeting.

It's not pre-tax earnings, it's pre-tax profit and it actually translates to "5% pre-tax net profit." The disbursal will be yearly rather than monthly mostly because the City won't have time to validate the US Internet books every month. (It's a privately held company.) They have not made a profit yet but should have some money for us in third quarter 2010.

US Internet (the wireless provider) is working on a fundraiser. We hope to know more in a few weeks.

There was no report on the community meetings and that wouldn't be under the purview of the Digital Inclusion Fund Committee.

Thanks again. Watch my blog for future reports.

Peter Fleck