The High-Tech Texan Blog

Monday, September 24, 2007

Houston Continues To Get Richer

I lunched with former Earthlink Muni WiFi Houston GM Steve Powell last week trying to comprehend the business decisions and meltdown of the cityside WiFi deal. Steve was recently let go from Earthlink along with about 100 other EL Muni WiFi employees.

Earthlink is technically still in the game of providing WiFi for Houston but it is a long shot that will come to light. They hold the contract to work with the city but would have to lean on other partners to get 'er done since EL has scaled back its plans to build out more cities.

In related news and fallout of this deal, the city's IT office led by Richard Lewis has let some of its staff go including Communications Director Mike Moore. Several contractors hired for the WiFi project have also been cut including former City Councilman Mark Goldberg.

We know the city is $5 million richer since EL cut a check for the penalty of not completing the project on schedule (or at all, for that matter). But until last week I hadn't heard about another recent payment of $1 million to the city for Earthlink's contractual commitment to the Digital Inclusion effort. The city's contract with EL called for them to pay the city $1 million the first AND second year when the project was completed. I have an unconfirmed report that EL will not be held responsible for the second $1 million.

And speaking of weird things happening at City Hall, check out this photo of Deputy Chief of Staff Terence Fontaine during a bike ride with Mayor White this past weekend. Is that a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt?? At the same time YOUR Houston Texans were playing the "biggest home game" in their history? Shame on you, Terence. That's about as stupid as me wearing my Troy Aikman jersey to the Texans-Cowboys first game at Reliant Stadium. I still have scars and bruises.

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  • So the guy supports his what..shame on you for being so anal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:05 AM  

  • Here, here. I'm a HUGE Cowboys fan and support them everywhere I go. I just thought it was kind of "weird" to see a City of Houston employee riding with the Mayor of Houston while wearing a shirt supporting their arch-rival city.

    By Blogger The High-Tech Texan, at 2:48 PM  

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