Wi-Fi pioneer Cometa Networks formally announced late Wednesday that it will shut down operations over the coming weeks., the company found it was unable to raise additional funding for nationwide expansion of it hot-spot network. Hot spots are public areas where a wireless network with a broadband Internet connection is accessible for owners of Wi-Fi devices. Initially hot spots were set up haphazardly, but more and more companies have been installing secure networks and charging for the service.
The company said it had proven the effectiveness of a wholesale hot-spot model but investors did not see a sufficient enough return on their investment to warrant funding. Early investors included AT&T, IBM, Intel, 3i and Apax Partners.