Friday, September 21, 2007

ELN Losing Deals

“Wi-Fi woes everywhere you turn,” says Russell Hancock of Silicon Valley Network, a troubled Wi-Fi project for 40 towns in California’s high-tech corridor. [source]

Pasadena is just one of a handful of deals that EarthLink is losing now that they have adjusted their Muni Wi-Fi plans. Pasadena also has 226 former ELN employees looking for work.

Houston fined them $5M, but it got ELN out of the contract.

Phillie is holding a hearing about their muni plan with ELN.

On Wednesday, San Francisco officially scrapped its Wi-Fi plans. Chicago and Milwaukee recently shelved Wi-Fi projects. Other projects, such as Houston's, are comatose. Philadelphia's build-out, about half-done, has slowed to a crawl. Cincinnati's is on hold. [CNN]

While ELN is certainly at the center of this storm (which they brought upon themeselves, may I add), other networks also are facing the reality of finding a business model. According to TMC, "America's biggest network, around Tempe, Arizona, was aiming for 32,000 subscribers, but had only 600 in April 2006." Luponc only grabbed 250 users.

Maybe cities need to take a different approach - either slowly build out hotspots like Chapel Hill or build the network first for public/gov't use like meter reading, traffic monitoring, EMS communications, and the like.

ELN did add a $5 fee to their DSL subscribers. (They have 1M broadband subs, but I don't have a breakdown how many are with Covad, New Edge, cable, or ILEC DSL).

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