REDMOND, Wash., and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Nov. 14, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. and MetroFi Inc. today announced a strategic alliance to bring locally relevant MSN® content and services to MetroFi’s advertising-supported, free Wi-Fi network throughout Portland, Ore. The two companies also plan to use the Microsoft® adCenter platform to help advertisers reach local Wi-Fi users. The free Internet service for residents and visitors is expected to launch with coverage around Pioneer Courthouse Square later this year and, when completed, cover 95 percent of the city.
“MetroFi’s free Wi-Fi platform is creating an exciting new Internet access ecosystem that is more inclusive, ubiquitous and flexible for both consumers and advertisers,” said Sam Klepper, general manager in the MSN Media Network Group at Microsoft. “With this Portland pilot we will deliver MSN services that help connect customers to the people and information they care about, breaking down connectivity barriers for our collective customers.”
“Microsoft’s support of the Portland network further reinforces the validity of advertising-supported municipal Wi-Fi. We’re confident that consumers will appreciate the added value of Microsoft’s locally relevant MSN content and services,” said Chuck Haas, CEO and co-founder of MetroFi. “MetroFi networks combine advanced advertising technologies with leading network designs to deliver ad-supported wireless Internet networks that are fast and free for everyone.”
The Portland Wi-Fi network will be operated by MetroFi and will be modeled on wireless broadband networks that MetroFi built and currently operates in Foster City, Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, downtown San Jose and Concord, Calif. This collaboration with Microsoft marks MetroFi’s largest citywide Wi-Fi network project and will bring free wireless Internet access to Oregon’s largest city, which boasts a population of more than half a million.
As in other communities, the Portland MetroFi network will operate by transmitting data via access points mounted on street light poles throughout the city. Portland residents or visitors with a Wi-Fi enabled desktop PC or laptop will be able to access the broadband network that will deliver broadband-like speeds while online, including up to 1 Mbps downloads and up to 256 Kbps uploads. The network will be coupled with a suite of Internet services designed by Microsoft to help consumers find locally relevant information.
Microsoft’s Klepper added that consumers can also expect to benefit from Microsoft’s innovation around locally relevant services and its ability to enable a host of new entertainment, communication and access experiences.
Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., MetroFi is a leading provider of community Internet services including free wireless Internet, local Internet advertising and Internet services to municipal businesses. MetroFi has secured agreements with 13 cities across the US including Portland, Ore., Naperville, Ill., Riverside and San Jose, Calif,. to design, build and operate free municipal Wi-Fi networks for residents, visitors and city workers that are advertising supported from local and national advertisers. For cities interested in establishing a MetroFi Wi-Fi network in their city, or advertisers who are interested in reaching local audiences, visit www.metrofi.com.
About MSN and Windows Live
MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live™, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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