Cities Awaiting Edison Signal On Wireless Networks

Some cities in Southern California cannot deploy wireless Internet networks because Southern California Edison Co. has failed to act on requests for access to its poles and electricity. Douglas H. Kim, general manager of Edison’s carrier solutions, said the power utility needs to “understand the technology better” before it endorses any plan to build these networks. Cities and wireless vendors in Edison’s 50,000-square-mile service territory, however, are not buying the argument. “I think they’re moving much more slowly than the complexity of this problem warrants. In almost every state, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of wireless access points on light poles. This isn’t rocket science,” Charles Haas, chief executive of broadband wireless builder and operator MetroFi Inc., said. Diamond Bar officials are now considering using the city’s power of eminent domain to build the network by condemning a foot of space atop 450 of Edison’s 5,000 poles in the city. “The impression we have is that Edison doesn’t want to move forward or doesn’t have a clear internal plan or procedure. Residents are demanding the service, and we have no other options for building a network,” said Diamond Bar’s information systems director, Ken Desforges.
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