Tuesday, May 13, 2008

EarthLink Pulls Plug on Philly WiFi, Helping to Kill the Muni WiFi White Elephant

Bookmark and Share
Earthlink announced that they are pulling out of the Municipal WiFi agreement with the city of Philadelphia, unable to reach an agreement with the city to take over the operation of the WiFi network the WiFi service will be turned off on June the 12th. Earthlink sank 17 million dollars of their own money and did not see any return on their investment.

Philadelphia's public private partnership with Earthlink was once seen as the model of how municipal WiFi networks were going to be built and operated. Earthlink seeing their dial-up subscriber base erode in the last few years was going to finally become a full fledged broadband provider. The city would provide low income earners a way onto the Internet, even if very few of them actually have computers.

The end of one of the most highly fiananced municipal WiFi projects is proving that one of the biggest eutopian dreams of the Internet age is proving itself to be the white elephant that it actually is. Network service providers simply have no interest being in partnership with City Halls when paying taxes to municipal governments and then have to compete against for residential consumers.

WiFi is a technology designed for small networks not as a broadband delivery techonology. Attempts to make this leap has resulted in poor performing broadband service which makes Municipal WiFi an idea that was dead on delivery.

No comments:

Blog Archive