From the Ashes of MetroFi



The Personal Telco Project has been offered a portion of the wireless gear abandoned by the MetroFi muni-wifi failure. We are working on extracting the maximum public benefit from what we ultimately receive.


The MetroFi experiment in Portland finally collapsed nearly two years ago. The City of Portland obtained ownership of the equipment when MetroFi failed to remove it in a timely fashion. Personal Telco requested the equipment from the City in order to try to extract some residual public benefit and after a lengthy period of indecision and inaction, the City has recently put out a bid solicitation for the removal of the nearly 700 devices mounted around the city on street lights and signal arms. Personal Telco has been promised approximately 80 of these devices and is hoping to receive the rest as well, though that will depend on the generosity of the winning bidder.

Out of these ashes, Personal Telco hopes to build new networks that benefit the public. Since August, we have had possession of a few sample devices and have learned what is inside and partly how they work. We’ll be continuing to explore intact and disaggregated reuse. At this session, we’ll discuss the background of the debacle, what we’ve learned to date, and what remains to be accomplished.

Speaking experience


  • Russell headshot

    Russell Senior

    Personal Telco Project, Inc.


    20 years as a Programmer/Scientific Data Analyst, also currently President of the Personal Telco Project, a volunteer-based 501©(3) community wireless networking group in Portland, Oregon.

    The Personal Telco Project provides free wifi service to about 9000 unique end users per month from the managed portion of its network. That is a significant impact on the community, provided through the generosity of individuals and businesses in Portland. We’d like it to be even bigger, so consider how you can become a part of this gift-culture.