When I wrote my post on Saturday about Muni WiFi I had no idea that Earthlink was going public with their lack of desire to stay in the MuniWireless business. It was a gut level hunch that I first shared a few weeks back at the MuniWireless conference with others I consider insiders.
The writing has been on the wall. That said, the problem is that the genie is out of the bottle in cities where they have deployed and unfortunately Muni WiFi is looking more and more like the second coming of Metricom's Ricochet. Great idea. Flawed execution and way too much money spent by high flying, fast spending executives, instead of real common sense, where's the market reality.
Muni Wireless is not bad. It's actually very good when done right. The problem is too much attention is being placed on the bad moves made by the likes of Earthlink and not on the firms that advised the cities on how to approach this, nor has enough time or attention been spent on where it is successful.