The 48-page agreement is actually rather vague in many places: Most surprising to me--perhaps I've been missing this detail--is EarthLink's agreement to pay a five-percent franchise fee to the city for access to rights of way (ROW). These fees have rarely appeared in other agreements, in which yearly pole fees or other arrangements have provided a different method of taxation. EarthLink will pay $600,000 in advance against ROW fees.
Google is not mentioned by name in this agreement. They are the Basic Service plan provider unless they've disappeared from the deal, a fact I have not heard mentioned yet.
EarthLink has to build a test network up to two square miles in area, and then achieve approval of characteristics before proceeding. The contract mentions a vague notion that EarthLink will work with the city to deal with any issues of interference. But there are no actual steps for alleviation that are mentioned. EarthLink has to keep its network up to date with comparable cities in terms of equipment used. The agreement lasts four years starting at a certain point in deployment and can be renewed with mutually agreed-on changes for two additional four-year periods.
The agreement has a 180-day clock from execution for the Board of Supervisors and the Public Utility Commission to approve the contract and the pole agreements, respectively. After 180 days, EarthLink can choose to walk away.
EarthLink must sell wholesale access on a non-discriminatory basis. Roaming is required, but individual ISPs have to sort out how they allow users from the SF network to roam onto other networks. There is no mention of whether deposits can be required from potential retail ISPs using the network.
While it's unclear whether the privacy provisions will assuage those who were concerned about Google and EarthLink's plans for user information on the network, the terms of information use do seem reasonably protective. Personal information (as defined in the document) can't be shared without an opt-in process to anyone but EarthLink suppliers and marketing partners, from which communication users must be allowed to opt out. Location data will be collected, but you can opt out, and it will be retained only 60 days. Law-enforcement needs and regulations will trump this, natch.
The agreement defines several levels of service. Basic Service is 300 Kbps symmetrical, but noted as "best effort." That will be free. Some minimal user information is needed to use that level of service. The city can ask for changes to the service, but EarthLink doesn't have to make them. The service speed must increase yearly to 15% of the "best selling wireless broadband product," if that's faster than 300 Kbps. (That is, if a 2 Mbps service is the bestselling offering, Basic Service stays the same; 3 Mbps, and it gets bumped to 450 Kbps.)
The Premium service level is 1 Mbps symmetrical, at least; no fees are defined. In other coverage, a $21.95 rate is attached for EarthLink's retail price, but I don't see the source. A Digital Inclusion service must be offered to the city for up to 3,200 people at $12.95 per month, and include a CPE that costs no more than $100 and can cost less. Both Occasional Use and Roaming are mentioned with not much detail.
EarthLink can offer a 3 Mpbs point-to-point service when it launches other services, but they can sell it as best effort instead of with a service-level agreement.
San Francisco will consider EarthLink as a telecom vendor for municipal needs, but EarthLink lacks a privileged position in that regard, as is defined in some cities' RFPs or final agreements with providers.