The SF Gate posted a good piece on the SF Wi-Fi Muni debate today. There are two very good quotes in the article that sum up the situation.
The first from Gavin:
"I'm not going to take $10 million from poor people to pay for something that a private company has offered to pay for," he added, suggesting money for a system owned or part-owned by city government would take money from social programs.
The second from Don Berryman of Earthlink:
his company [Earthlink] and Google have already invested a lot of time and money negotiating with the city with no guarantee that the proposed network will be profitable.
We do a lot of research on this very topic here. What Mr. Berryman is saying is true – there are a lot of risks and really no guarantees.
I posted on this a week or so ago.
I don't think that there is a better deal to "be had." Gavin got a good deal initially b/c we (San Francisco) were one of the first cities to sign on. They really don't need us so much anymore. They have Cupertino and Philly up and running. They've proven they can do this.
The city doesn't have the skill set to run or manage this type of network.
Yes, Wi-Fi has issues, but it's free. Everything has a cost.
One of the responses sent to me from my last blog is the following:
I wonder if she would advocate outsource the city libraries as well to Amazon paid for based on ads they could send you correlated to your checkout records?
Not the craziest idea I've heard. Lots of people say they don't want advertising, but they still watch TV and surf the Internet – two mediums which are heavily ad-sponsored.