EarthLink will get some good PR for this one. Following pressure from BellSouth and the state legislature to shut down the WiFi network operated by the city of New Orleans because state law forbids government to run broadband networks, EarthLink has now agreed to take over the WiFi network in the near future. The ISP plans to transform the network into a paid service, and spend $15 million on expanding it during the next three years. The WiFi network has been the lifeblood of many city residents who still don't have Internet access let alone basic telephone service after Hurricane Katrina.
BellSouth received some bad press when it came to light its lobbyists were pushing for a shutdown of the network. No word on when and how much EarthLink will charge customers for use of the network. You have to love this quote from the ISP: "We really feel for the city," said EarthLink's president of municipal networking, Donald Berryman. "They're still basically at a crawl in terms of communications there."
To read more about EarthLink's planned takeover of New Orleans' WiFi network:
- check out this article from TeleClick