A New Wireless Era BeginsWith the announcement that Cisco, IBM, Azulstar Networks, and Seakay have been tapped to build and operate Silicon Valley’s regional wireless network, the development of new uses for the network will soon follow.”œThe ability to stay connected to the network when you are outdoors also is a very, very powerful set of capabilities,” says Alan S. Cohen, senior director of mobility solutions at Cisco, in a Q@A on News@Cisco this week.”What we found while working with about 40 municipalities – including our landmark win in Silicon Valley – where we’ve deployed networks so far, is there are a range of municipal applications – from video surveillance cameras, to information where people are actually working, and on to Wi-Fi parking meters. Think about that, you don’t have to run around with a quarter any more.”Silicon Valley Metro Connect, the name of the group of companies supplying the network, will offer up to 1Mb data speed for the free base service with protection of user privacy and will include digital divide programs for economically disadvantaged users. It will also offer premium fee-based services such as wireless Voice Over IP and video streaming. The Wireless Silicon Valley Task Force sponsoring this project includes Silicon Valley Heavyweights Russell Hancock, CEO and president, Joint Venture Silicon Valley; Seth Fearey, COO and VP, Joint Venture Silicon Valley; Eric Benhamou, chair of Smart Valley, 3COM Corp, and Palm, Inc.; Brian Moura, chairman, SAMCAT; Dan Fenton, president and CEO, San Jose Convention Center and Visitor’s Bureau.To get a look at what it will look like on the ground in San Jose, see Tony Russomanno’s report on cbs5.com. Russomanno interviews local business owners and workers and gets interesting feedback on mesh.Municipalities are fast adopting mesh around the country as they see the low-costs and solid benefits involved, according to a report, “Mesh Comes of Age” this week on News@Cisco.