EarthLink To The Rescue

Last week, we mentioned that BellSouth was making the brain-dead PR move of lobbying the Louisiana state legislature to shut down an emergency WiFi network used by thousands of residents. Now, Earthlink has stepped in and said that they will happily take over operation of the mesh WiFi network. Earthlink, of course, is actively pursuing multiple opportunities in Muni-mesh WiFi, and in the case of New Orleans, the legislation in question only applies to gov’t-run networks but not commercial networks. Thus, by ceding the network to Earthlink, New Orleans can keep it operational. That sounds like a good workaround to a lousy situation, but even so, it must be done with wisdom: the city of N.O. should be sure to extract service level guarantees from Earthlink in exchange for the franchise.

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