Phila. council member writes uninformed op-ed against Phila. Wi-Fi: Frank Rizzo notes, "You may remember that at the time that WiFi Philadelphia was proposed, I was its most outspoken critic. My concern was that this was an effort best left to the private sector, which would be more efficient, effective and economical with the discipline of the marketplace, than government would be." Strangely, the effort in Philadelphia involved a private firm using its own capital to construct a network at its own expense, and which turned out to be unsustainable as a broader model.
He writes, "I pointed out that Earthlink's "free" provision of a wireless network (no financial responsibility for the city) was not really free since it required that the city be the anchor tenant to make the network viable." There is no such requirement for the city to purchase services. "But the city already has extensive connection to the Internet through alternative services (like the Free Library of Philadelphia)," he writes in a sentence that makes no sense whatsoever.
Rizzo has previously written several similarly uninformed notes. He voted along with the rest of the council to approve the EarthLink contract in 2006.
Christian Science Monitor takes a step back to survey muni scene: As I suspected, the reporter found that cities below the metropolis level with clearly defined goals that included multiple uses of the network have fared better in roll-outs.
Cincinnati puts Wi-Fi on hold: The city spent $18,000 to determine the feasibility of building a city-wide network, and they think the timing is wrong. It's certainly a good time to put plans to make a plan on hold while the industry shakes out, and next-generation MIMO and 802.11n metro-scale gear starts to hit the market, probably by early 2008.
San Francisco formally pulls plug: The supervisors committee refused to vote on a contract with EarthLink that's now moot, officially putting that deal to rest.