“It’s frustrating. It’s been a two-year process, a two-year odyssey. We came up with what we think is the best proposal of its kind in the United States. Not only is it the best economic proposal for the taxpayers‚Äö?Ñ¬?no cost out of our pocket.” What’s he talking about? Universal healthcare? Better garbage pickup in San Francisco? No, the latest service to fall victim to the San Francisco political scene.
Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco complained in a video interview on Marketwatch about the decision of the Board of Supervisors to delay the vote on EarthLink’s citywide Wi-Fi contract:
“It’s frustrating. It’s been a two-year process, a two-year odyssey. We came up with what we think is the best proposal of its kind in the United States. Not only is it the best economic proposal for the taxpayers‚Äö?Ñ¬?no cost out of our pocket‚Äö?Ñ¬? a system that will be operated and managed by Earthlink, and supported by Google‚Äö?Ñ¬? but also provides not just a tiered paid service, but this free basic service that Google is going to provide. No other large city has offered that kind of service.”
On the prospect that the plan gets delayed further or doesn’t pass at all:
“I think if this doesn’t pass, inevitably we’ll be one of the last cities in the United States to have Wi-Fi.”
On the possibility that Earthlink may pull out of the deal:
“There is no backup plan. We’ve spent two years to put this plan together and we think it’s as good as it gets. Earthlink feels good about it. They’re not completely pleased by all the aspects because we went further than others. I like the idea that they’re contracting their focus because that means they’ll be more intently focused on fewer cities and not as many cities. That gives me solace.”
“That being said, Google’s still holding on. I don’t think they get much from this except a lot of publicity. But this is hardly a company that’s wanting for publicity. I think they did it because of the proximity to their headquarters. They want to showcase this effort in San Francisco, a world-class city. But I think there’s some frustration and I understand that and I hope they can hold out until we at least get a vote up or down, one way or another, at the Board of Supervisors.”