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Gavin Newsom continues to be a strong supporter of citywide WiFi  (Source: Official Gavin Newsom web site)
Earthlink crumbles, and with it the plans of must urban municipal WiFi

As EarthLink continues in a rather nasty downward spiral, the likelihood of seeing citywide WiFi in San Francisco does not really look promising. 

EarthLink's self destruction
didn't initially concern metropolitan residents much, but the company's part in the WiFi deal was important -- Google would offer a slower service, with EarthLink offering increased speeds for a low payment per month.

Residents cheered when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom envisioned free citywide WiFi for residents and visitors of San Francisco a couple of years ago.  But now the mayor must continue searching for other companies which originally showed interest in offering WiFi to the city.

Even though it's not difficult to find WiFi hot spots in San Francisco, the ability of having WiFi everywhere in the City would be superb.  The San Francisco Metreon, located a block away from Market Street, there are at least 15 active WiFi access points.  A quick visit to the heart of. Financial District also revealed a large number of WiFi points that a user with a notebook or smart phone can use.  However, a trip down to Fisherman's Wharf will reveal only a couple of access points.

EarthLink's faulty business plan cost the company a $5 million penalty after failing to come up with a wireless network for the city of Houston.  EarthLink now has until June next year to either start building the network or find a way to sneak out of the contract with Houston. 

The company also had to bow out of a deal with Chicago.  The city originally intended to provide infrastructure to AT&T or Earthlink for city-wide access, but negotiations fell apart when neither company could settle terms on cash for the project.

Earthlink's largest other muncipal WiFi plans have not panned out in any significant manner yet.  The Earthlink Lompoc, California, project cost the company $3 million but netted less than 500 users at last count.  The company's Anaheim and Philadelphia networks are still under construction.

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Good friend of mine
By Denigrate on 9/4/2007 11:41:55 AM , Rating: 3
Put up a WiFi umbrella over Lawrence, KS (home of the University of Kansas), as a for profit company, and did it as a start up company far cheaper than any government agency could do it. He purchases the bandwidth wholesale, and only charges people who can afford it, giving the service free to those who can't. He also refub's old computers for low income families who don't have a computer.

Here's his website.

RE: Good friend of mine
By GotDiesel on 9/4/2007 12:25:58 PM , Rating: 3
excellent idea.. but your missing the big stumbling block here..
corporate greed America.... effectively halts all
good for the general public..

RE: Good friend of mine
By Oregonian2 on 9/4/2007 3:16:03 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah... those greedy corporates like to pay their employees with a paycheck and those greedy banks or investors who give them money to buy the capital equipment seem to want to get their money back so that they can pay their employees. I think it boils down to greedy employees who want pay for their work and don't want to donate it for the greater good of the general public. If there were more "work for the corporation for free" months, more public good could happen.

RE: Good friend of mine
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 3:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
If there were more "work for the corporation for free" months, more public good could happen.

I love it! I think that sometimes people fail to realize that companies are created by and run by - people. It's not like some faceless autonomous monster. I also think that when people complain about this-and-that, they completely fail to realize there is another side to the story - the employer's side, for instance.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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