AT&T hasn't gotten the first phase of St. Louis, Mo.'s network running due to pole problems: Light poles on which the telecom giant planned to place Wi-Fi nodes are largely bank switched, which means that lights are turned on at night, and there's no circuit at the light to control illumination separately from other devices. Light poles in some cities are wired to allow the light to be separately controlled from other devices, or integrate switching at the pole. They've spent months on the problem, with no solution. The project might be scuttled.
A bit more reporting from Houston, more negative than yesterday's: Sounds like there is more skepticism yesterday than the day before about whether EarthLink will build that city's network (including a comment from yours truly). The city could use the $5m payment from EarthLink for missing its first milestone--money due in a week or two--to build hotzones.
I had a dream last night that I was on EarthLink's board: I went to a distant city where we had outsourced the construction of a city-wide network to a local group. When I arrived, I found the network performed extremely poorly; really, hardly at all. I went to confront management, and discovered that the company was actually a group of American-flavored religious extremists. They held me captive for two days until I escaped--rather easily, they weren't very clever--with my dream-only dog to return to EarthLink HQ. News accounts of my escape hadn't mentioned my name or position. I sat down with the board and said, "I was just a hostage for two days." And then we proceeded to talk about the network's future.