San Francisco has drawn complaints from residents about the slow speed of their free Internet service that also comes plastered with online advertising, and Philadelphia has reported major cost overruns for its municipal Internet network plans.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles’ feasibility study — similar to the one Glendale has undergone — is expected to be completed in December. Glendale could latch on to and be an extension of plans there to provide free or reduced-fee citywide wireless Internet access, Bickham said, but that would also have to pass the cost-benefit test.
With all the uncertainty and stumbles in other cities — along with the recent announcement from Earthlink Inc., the nation’s largest municipal Wi-Fi network builder, to halt all city projects until it can figure out how to make them profitable — the true value of Glendale’s market feasibility study has now revealed itself, Najarian said.
“I’m very glad we decided to use some caution before getting into the Wi-Fi program for the city,” he said.