Minneapolis returns to its senses

The inmates haven’t taken over the asylum in Minneapolis, at least not yet. The city council there voted Friday to proceed with its original plan to select a private company to finance, own and operate the proposed citywide Wi-Fi network, in spite of a recommendation from the council’s Ways and Means committee that the council delay the contract and re-examine a $25-million taxpayer-funded, city-owned alternative. Most council members feared (correctly) that any delay at this stage could be fatal for the entire project. The city has already completed an RFP process and narrowed the finalists to EarthLink and US Internet. Still, the sudden activism from one-time muni wireless supporters must have given council members pause. No information yet as to how close the vote was.The Minneapolis Star-Tribune covers the story here. The San Francisco TechConnect project faces similar protests from the Left. For a look at the new controversy over municipal wireless, click here.