Another Kite Networks operation confirmed down: The Dallas Morning News reports on the problems in Farmers Branch, Tex., which has had a Kite Networks Wi-Fi system up since Nov. 2006 that never met the required spec for coverage. The network is dead, Gobility (Kite's current owner) isn't responding for comment, and the city is about to seize the equipment under a default agreement. Farmers Branch doesn't want to operate the network, but with nearly 300 nodes in hand, they may be able to find a provider willing to go in with relatively little capital.
The only fly in the ointment is that Kite used Strix equipment, which is in use by no other major city-wide U.S. Wi-Fi vendor; it's had good international adoption, and used in a public access/public safety deployment in Brookline, Mass. This may make it hard for an existing network operator to want to take over equipment they're not used to using. Update: I was informed by Strix and another unrelated party that Farmers Branch is full of Cisco gear, not Strix equipment.
This is the first article to state what I've been told privately: that Gobility essentially started shutting down weeks, beginning with firing all its employees, according to former marketing VP Alan Crancer, who is quoted in this article.