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Earthlink Boss: We'll Take GoogleNet National

The Earthlink-Google deal to provide a wireless network for San Francisco is only the first step to a much bigger Wi-Fi GoogleNet, says EarthLink CEO Garry Betty. Betty has been telling all who will listen that the firms are planning to expand the network to a second city. And after that, the sky's the limit.
Betty told the Dow Jones Newswire that San Francisco is only the first step the companies will take, and that Earthlink and Google will bid to provide Wi-Fi to a second city.

Don't expect it to stop there. Earthlink is under intense pressure to figure out a way to survive as cable companies and telcos aggressively target household broadband access. Earthlink's dialup business is tanking, and it hasn't been able to gain traction in the broadband market. This is a company in potentially big trouble.

For salvation, it appears to be turning to municipal Wi-Fi. In addition to the San Francisco deal, it has contracts to build Wi-Fi networks in Philadelphia and Anaheim. It's bidding or dealing for contracts in more than two dozen other cities.

As it expands, who better to do it with than Google? There's no doubt the Google connection helped it win the San Francisco deal, and Google could help it win others as well.

So expect the long-expected national GoogleNet to become a reality, with Earthlink as a partner.