Corpus Christi to take back control of Muni-Wi-Fi network

Officials for the city say that it has come to the point where Corpus Christi will move ahead with its municipal wireless network without EarthLink.

Corpus Christi signed an agreement with the ISP in March of last year for about $5.7 million in total. While the network was said to be completed in August, plans were thrown into chaos after EarthLink backed out of muni Wi-Fi.

The original use of the network was to read meters, and it appears it will stay that way. For now, citywide public access to the network looks to be pretty much finished.

There are nine hot zones in the city where those with Wi-Fi enabled devices can sign onto the network for free. Plans are in the works for two additional sites including the Corpus Christi International Airport.

EarthLink said it will not comment until after Tuesday's City Council meeting. At that meeting, city officials will receive a briefing on how the transfer of the project back to the city will be handled. It will not cost the city any money to do so.

Annual cost of upkeep to the city is expected to be around $50,000. If agreed upon, EarthLink will hand over all radios and equipment plus the improvements it made to the network to the city.

Anybody who may have signed up for the service could receive letters notifying them of the need to select another Internet provider if the agreement goes through.

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