Wallace Olsen

By Caron Carlson  |  Posted 2006-01-02 Print this article Print

Wallace Olsen, Ascio Technologies

How did you first approach the city of Boston on this project, and what concerns had to be overcome before you could begin deployment?

We started a conversation with Boston in [August 2004]. The city wanted to go forward, but they didnt want any liability.

I dont think they knew how to fund it, who was going to operate it, who was going to control it. We said wed be responsible. Setting up these types of applications doesnt take a lot of time, energy or expense. Everybody overthinks it—it makes it overcomplicated.

How much is this project costing Ascio?

Out of pocket, $7,500—including labor and antenna cables, antennas, power supply, mounting brackets, posts, poles, things like that. [This does not include the antennas from Colubris, which Ascio also purchased.]

On a pro bono project like this, is it still necessary to develop relationships with city offices?

Yes. It allows us to have access to municipal buildings. The community center is a good place to set up because it offers services to the district.

Have you encountered any technological challenges?

In West Roxbury, we didnt have line of sight at the community center, so were going to be deploying on a Catholic school and relaying back down to the community center.

What are some of the bureaucratic challenges you have encountered?

Waiting for "roof rights" agreements, particularly dealing with the Boston Housing Authority. They were reviewing this as if were a cellular company. They had a 24-page contract. I had to reiterate that this is not a for-profit deployment.

Are you taking a chance here, from a business perspective?

Yes. Proof of concept does not exist. Were gambling. Were going to keep it going for 18 months regardless of the costs associated with it. But I cant imagine how it would ever fail.

Next Page: Carl Blume.


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