The Politics Of San Francisco Wi-Fi

A report by the San Francisco Examiner suggested a possible vote by the city’s Board of Supervisors to make the citywide WiFi network part of the city’s owned assets. The move, if the board pushes through with it, would run in conflict with Mayor Gavin Newsom’s plan to let a private company, particularly EarthLink, own and manage the network.

Analysts have differing opinions regarding the news. Muni WiFi analyst Craig Settles said the alleged disagreement ensued from the lack of consultation with local stakeholders. Esme Vos of, on the other hand, believes the “SF Board of Supervisors is doing what boards of supervisors (or similar bodies) in other municipalities do — which is to question the reigning mayor’s decisions.” She accused some journalists covering the story for making the issue much bigger than it is and thought discussions should be focused on the price of wholesale broadband access in the U.S.
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