AT&T pulls out of WiFi partnership in Napa

AT&T is pulling out of its WiFi partnership with the city of Napa, Calif., saying the city's utility poles are too short to attach WiFi antennas. AT&T had planned to invest $1 million in equipment and service and was going to use Napa's utility poles, most of which are jointly owned by PG&E and AT&T, to deploy the service. But the California Public Utilities Commission subsequently issued new safety regulations spelling out how WiFi antennas can be attached to utility poles. To be exact, new safety clearances for high-voltage lines left no room to place a WiFi antenna. This is the second time that technical issues have stymied AT&T's WiFi plans. Last week, AT&T scaled back its plans to blanket St. Louis with WiFi, instead focusing on building a pilot network. AT&T engineers couldn't find an inexpensive way to provide power to the network's transmitters that carry the network signal.

For more about AT&T's plans to end WiFi in Napa:
- read this article from The Napa Valley Register