Media outlets are puking with the story that Muni Wi-Fi is dead. From the get go there were factions that wanted this to fail. (ILEC/cellcos and MSO's being just 2 parties)>
But there were groups that needed this to work: Intel, MOTO, Tropos, the Wi-fi Alliance, CityNet, MetroFi. and EarthLink. Unfortunately, too many government officials thought this would be some kind of windfall. And, as is often the case, too many manufacturers blew smoke. It ended up costing way more to build than any theory predicted. It didn't work nearly as well as expected. And the number of paid subscribers was woefully low.
When the bell tolled, everyone was a genius. But people missed some tidbits. It could have worked as a public-private partnership ith public safety as an anchor tenant. It was likely to replace DSL or cable modem, but could have worked for mobile users and casual users.
One point that escapes many people is that Handsets sell cellular. The more you can do with a handset, the more you pay the carrier. Period.
Muni needed Nokia to help push the Muni Wi-Fi/obile market. It also needed more dual-mode phones. And let's face it: EarthLink did an awful job marketing this and bundling this (Hello: Helio dual-mode phone?! DSL and cable modem users having access??) And since ELN isn't exactly a network company, the build was a mess too. It's unfortunate.
BTW, ELN is for sale if any private equity people are interested, please call me.