EarthLink yanks muni WiFi network in Philly

EarthLink has pulled the plug on its $17-million municipal WiFi network in Philadelphia after it says it failed to reach an agreement with the city to take over the network. Originally, reports claimed EarthLink would give the city until the end of this week to come up with a deal, but now the company says no deal could be reached. City officials told the Wall Street Journal that the network would cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

"It's been an unfortunate situation," said EarthLink CEO Rolla Huff. "It was a great idea a few years ago... but it's an idea that simply didn't make it."

Earlier this year EarthLink announced it was no longer interested in the municipal WiFi business. The Philadelphia network had reached about 80 percent of its build-out. EarthLink has already stepped away from contracts with San Francisco, Houston, New Orleans and others. The only big contract outstanding is now Anaheim, CA, according to EarthLink.- Brian Dolan

For more on EarthLink pulling the plug:
- read this WSJ report (sub. req.)