Hardly the best way to kick off expense cutting: A day after EarthLink announced layoffs of nearly half its staff, including the head of municipal networks, the company has agreed to pay Houston $5m because of delays in starting its network construction. The city announced this payment this morning, and EarthLink now has nine months to begin construction. That $5m would be twice the city's $2.5m anchor tenancy commitment. The city may also consider other offers now, too, without any obligation to return the money.
I've been saying for weeks that I thought it unlikely EarthLink would build out Houston in the end. Paying a $5m penalty and walking away is cheaper than building and operating a $50m network.