One of the largest WiFi projects in the world, one that has the ultimate goal of getting wireless access to just about everyone that wants it, has hit a wall
. The company U.S. MobilePro, one of the companies behind development of the project's infrastructure, has pulled out of the project because they have determined it costs them too much money. They had other reasons too, a lot of it involving politics:
In the Friday announcement, MobilePro noted that it had been declared the winner of an RFP for the project. The firm complained that after it went through a lengthy permitting process, the city made a "counter proposal requiring that the company establish a free high-speed wireless network supported almost exclusively by advertising revenue without the benefit of the city serving as an anchor tenant."
They also said they do not believe that an advertising-supported business is possible in a the broadband world, and they could be right. We've seen what happens to "free" ISPs in the past. Moreover, it's still a blow to the city and to global WiFi as a whole, because likely it puts the project back a few years at the least.