Although chances are good that the proposed San Francisco wireless network that will be built and operated by EarthLink and Google will eventually pass muster with the city's Board of Supervisors, opposition to the project still remains strong among a number of citizens and interest groups.
This particular editorial makes the argument that, among its faults:
- The network is slow
- Not everyone will be able to access it
- The city will be bound to its agreement with Google and EarthLink for a number of years
- The fees being paid by EarthLink will not amount to much
While there are some legitimacies to these points, a credible alternative has not yet been put forward. There have been calls for the city to build the network itself and lease connections to companies who, in turn, will provide individual access accounts to users, but that seems extremely complex and, frankly, do citizens really want their city government to get into the wireless network business?
At this point, it seems that the deal will go through in San Francisco. We have to remember that citywide wireless is still in its early stages and, to the disappointment to some, there will be some bumps and bruises along the way.