And so we bid a fond farewell to Wireless Silicon Valley (I'm not dead yet, it cries): The San Jose Mercury News's Vindu Goel reports that it's not so much that the 1,500-sq-mi project is on the ropes, as if it's on the mat seeing double with the count at 8 or 9. Goel quotes the head of the proposal Joint Venture Silicon Valley that "We're prepared to scrap the whole project." Goel also notes that there's no managing director or other head for the Metro Connect consortium of Cisco, IBM, Azulstar, and SeaKay, rather led by a team and the Joint Venture group.
Goel also highlights the difficulties Azulstar has had in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, supposedly its flagship location. An article in the local paper from Aug. 20 documents Azulstar's eleventh hour response to the city about the company's plans to improve the network. The summary is: we plan to replace every bit of equipment used on the network. Rio Rancho has been widely cited since 2005 as a model network, but apparently no one visited. The newspaper has been reporting during most of that time about the network and company's performance.
What's interesting is that the Joint Venture head says that the Metro Connect group came to him and said that "we don't have a business model here" only after EarthLink said that their model wasn't workable; the Metro Connect group apparently woke up one day and realized ad-supported service wouldn't work across this area. One might note that EarthLink declined to bid on Wireless Silicon Valley in writing because they believed the deal didn't pass enough homes or have enough of the right kind of market conditions. [link via Craig Settles, who accurately called this one long ago]
Update: Joint Venture claims (to IDG News Service) their head was misquoted. No correction has been published in the Mercury News, however.