Making Municipal Wi-Fi Work
What does MetroFi know that EarthLink doesn’t?
by KathrynV 01:14PM Sunday Sep 09 2007 Tipped by fatmanskinny
Despite the fact that EarthLink’s municipal Wi-Fi plans are crumbling around them
, the company maintains that they’ll be able to get back into the market. They just need to figure out the right kind of wireless
to make it happen. This includes looking at partnerships with Clearwire or Sprint Nextel for a combined Wi-Fi / WiMax solution. It also means working with cities to consider realistic coverage area; in a quotable moment, CEO Rolla Huff said:
“We were providing coverage to cattle. It didn’t make good business sense.”
And it might mean taking some lessons from MetroFi
which is having much greater success with their municipal deployment. MetroFi cites their success as being due to their focus on smaller, suburban areas where the governments also use the networks as well as to their ad-based funding system. One thing’s for sure; EarthLink needs to change its approach. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
points out that failure to be more innovative in this area could cause EarthLink's muni Wi-Fi to go the way of Atari and Super 8 film.
Santa Rosa, CA
Re: We were providing coverage to cattle
said by FFH5:I think he meant they were covering pasture land.
I think that quote adequately describes the average "free municipal wifi" user. And that is why that internet access model is dying across the country. People who don't want to pay anything don't buy anything either. And that kills the ad supported model as well.
Re: How Is This Going To Be Funded?
said by Ben:According to certain politicians (on all sides, not just the Democrats) and certain so called minority 'leaders', that is not a true statement.
I hope it's not through taxation, because unlike roads, this isn't something that everyone needs.
Personally I do not NEED the internet, but having it and paying my (note: *I* am paying, not Joe taxpayer) $50 a month is worth it for me instead of going to the library. Even when I was a student and unemployed I paid for the net, even though it was a short 1.5 miles to the campus and less than a mile to the library, just for convenience - just had to give up some things to pay for it.
I am not lost, I find myself every time.
Re: They are not "crumbling around them"
said by WhichPartofSpin :Except to those of us who know and deal with people on the inside at Earthlink on a daily basis. I still know what goes on in that company - plenty of my friends still there (though much less with the upcoming layoff).
Tilts the reporting to that which makes him feel like he is correct...
And yes, their wireless plans ARE crumbling around them.