February 13, 2007
Earthlink wins city WiFi contract

We have a provider.

The city disclosed today that it has chosen Atlanta-based EarthLink Municipal Networks to provide a citywide, wireless Internet network within the next two years.

An official announcement was scheduled for a 4 p.m. news conference today, but the city sent out a premature news release announcing its selection.

While the agreement with EarthLink still needs City Council approval, its terms put Houston in line to have the largest such network in North America, covering nearly all of the city's 600 square miles by spring of 2009, White told the Chronicle.

Some low-income residents could get subsidized access for as little as $10 a month, and most customers would pay less than they do now.

"This is a very important initiative for Houston as it will bring the consumer cost of broadband down significantly and already has,'' said Mayor Bill White in the news release. "It will provide a scarce resource to help our low-income households have access, benefiting students at home, helping telecommuters for whom childcare or transportation creates limitations, and benefiting telemedicine in the future. Houston's workforce will be more productive.''

The project likely won't be completed till the spring of 2009, which is later than previously advertised. It won't shock me if that slips a bit, given the vastness of Houston and the nature of any large undertaking. I'll bet Mayor White will do whatever he can to have it finished by the time he leaves office, however. I expect City Council will approve this without too much fuss. We'll see how it goes from there. I look forward to seeing the finished product, that's for sure.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 13, 2007 to Elsewhere in Houston

Better write in the contract No Data basing and No Data mining.

Posted by: Support Science to Reverse Global Warming, which Al Gore says is still possible on February 13, 2007 7:10 PM

Were I a member of City Council, I would be concerned about all of the headlines announcing a deal and the selection of a contractor. At this point, this is nothing more than a recommendation, subject to Council approval.

Posted by: Dennis on February 14, 2007 7:46 AM