After falling into bankruptcy, Ricochet Networks Inc. is back in the air over
Denver under new owners.
The wireless broadband service, first fielded by Metricom Inc., once reached
14 cities with 51,000 subscribers, offering wireless connections at up to 128
kilobits per second. But enormous start-up costs proved too burdensome for
Metricom, and it filed for bankruptcy.
Denver-based Aerie Networks Inc., formerly a fiber-network start-up, bought
up the assets for pennies on the dollar. Set up as a subsidiary of Aerie,
Ricochet has since been working to re-establish its service under a new business
After several months of testing, Aerie has relaunched Ricochet in Denver,
this time in partnership with the city and county of Denver.
Ricochet will provide the city with modems and service in exchange for the
right to develop the service as a municipal and public-safety wireless network
able to support data rates of 176 kbps or more. It is also available to
consumers and businesses in Denver for $44.95 monthly plus purchase of a $99.95
'The partnership also allows us to learn more about how we can develop
public-safety applications and products,' Ricochet president and CEO Morton C.
Aaronson said. 'Our partnership with the city and county of Denver is the model
of a new sustainable business plan for the Ricochet network -- one that we are
working to extend to other cities around the country.'
Ricochet is now in discussions with other cities, landlords and resellers to
reactivate the network.