There's a call among some San Francisco groups to yank Wi-Fi in favor of fiber: Public Net San Francisco wants the EarthLink deal to be canceled in favor of a publicly owned fiber network that would reach every home. SFLan's Ralf Muehlen said, "300 kilobits per second is so 1997; it'll be utterly ridiculous in 2023, which is how long Earthlink's monopoly will last." (SFLan is a high-profile, long-running project to share Internet access wirelessly; it's got a lot of high-profile participants, too.) The San Francisco Bay Guardian goes into some of the details of a fiber plan.
Esme Vos of MuniWireless.com argues for co-existence. Wi-Fi fills in while fiber is being built. Built it now as the first step in ensuring competition--and offerings like she sees in her town of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Finally, the ACLU critiques the privacy aspects of the EarthLink deal. The organization wants more limits and less ambiguity about what information is collected. "The ACLU said a municipal Wi-Fi network should let users opt in or out of any service that collects data on what they look at or search for on the Internet, or their e-mail messages. There are no provisions for that in the paid or free service terms, it said."