The Minneapolis Star Tribune cautiously expressed optimism at US Internet's network: When I spoke to the editorial writer--I'm quoted briefly in this unsigned piece--about Minneapolis, I stressed that I don't have feet on the street, but I do have, uh, feet in my inbox. When things don't work in various places, with various services, or with various products, I do hear about it. Thank you, loyal readers. I usually know a few hours to a few days before something collapses, or when a product is utterly unfabulous from a Wi-Fi perspective.
And I don't get email with the anger, disappointment, or even intellectual curiosity about Minneapolis, in the same way I did about Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Tempe. Which leads me to believe either no one reads my site in the Twin Cities (a possibility), or that the network is performing more or less--note the more or less--as the reporting and US Internet indicates it is.
Which must be highly gratifying to the firm when they read this local pat on the back. The paper isn't trying to be dubious. Rather, it's not entirely clear why US Internet succeeded where so many other firms have failed. There are at least three distinctive elements to US Internet's deployment: they are using BelAir equipment, which is used in none of the large-scale networks that have failed to be built or that are faltering; they were signed up in order for Minneapolis to be an anchor tenant of a considerable dollar value (Houston being the only network of that scale, but much more expensive to build); and Minneapolis agreed to make upfront payments against future services to help US Internet finance and build out the network.