EarthLink wouldn't comment to the AP, but Gavin Newsom's office says deal is dead: The Associated Press is reporting that 19 months after they were awarded the bid, EarthLink is out. I called it several weeks ago: the new model made it clear that there's no way for San Francisco's desire and EarthLink's approach to meld now. The network was estimated at $14m to $17m to build, and Google would have been an anchor tenant, paying EarthLink to provide a free, lower-speed (300 Kbps) service.
This isn't the beginning or even middle of the end. This is the end of a failed approach in which risks, dollars, and expectations weren't in line between municipalities and service providers. This was the last axe to fall on major deployments. In six months, we'll start hearing the good news about how realigned goals and more reasonable network plans produce results.