EarthLink vs. City of Philadelphia

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 12, 2008

Philadelphia’s Wi-Fi project is in jeopardy. Over the past year, Wi-Fi builder EarthLink has exited a number of municipal Wi-Fi projects claiming they were unprofitable. Now, it appears that the company is preparing to exit its most ambitious municipal Wi-Fi project: Philly. But the city isn’t about to let that happen without a fight.

According to this story, EarthLink’s Philly service has stopped accepting new customers. EarthLink has also, supposedly, told the city’s officials to come up with a plan to finance the network, pronto — or it will pull the plug on the service altogether.

But Philly officials say here that they plan to hold EarthLink to its contract. Alas, it looks like it won’t be as easy for EarthLink to pull out of this project as from some other ones.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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