Google Loses EarthLink In Wi-Fi Deal

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If and when Google’s plans for providing wireless Internet service in San Francisco go forward, it will be without the participation of financially troubled partner EarthLink.

EarthLink recently announced it would shed some 900 jobs as part of its restructuring, but that wasn’t the end of its last-ditch efforts to stay afloat. The company won’t be Google’s Wi-Fi partner in San Francisco as a result.

An AP report said EarthLink told the city its involvement in the plan to provide free wireless isn’t going to happen:

Earthlink Chief Executive Rolla Huff told Newsom during a telephone call “they were not going to be able to fulfill their end of the bargain,” said Ballard. “Mr. Huff made it clear it wasn’t going to happen with Earthlink; they are getting out of the Wi-Fi business.”

EarthLink had been looking at a multi-million dollar bill to build and maintain the system in San Francisco. That could have cost the company $17 million, with no guarantee that people would pay for a faster level of wireless service via a subscription with EarthLink.

Google and EarthLink won the deal to provide free Wi-Fi to San Francisco in April 2006. Since then, politics and other challenges have kept the project from moving forward.

Google Loses EarthLink In Wi-Fi Deal
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