The head of EarthLink says the Internet service provider will team with Google on bidding for a wireless Internet access contract in a second U.S. city after being chosen by San Francisco last week, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
EarthLink Chief Executive Garry Betty said the companies haven't determined which city to pursue. The next proposal will differ from the one they submitted to San Francisco in that it will be sustained mostly by paid subscriptions, he said. In San Francisco, residents will pay about $20 a month for a fast premium service and pay nothing for basic service that includes ads. The cost of that project is expected to be about $15 million.
A representative from EarthLink public relations said she did not think she could get company comment on the article. A Google spokeswoman released this statement, which was the same as one included in the article: "EarthLink has been a longtime partner of Google's and we look forward to working together to unwire San Francisco. We are open to considering other opportunities in this space with EarthLink but at this time remain focused on the Bay Area and have no specific plans to announce regarding a second city."
Google and EarthLink beat out five other bids for the San Francisco Wi-Fi project, despite concerns about its lack of user privacy safeguards.