The question seems to be a matter of who should run the WiFi-- should a company control it or should the city run it they. The key hitch to having it built and controlled by the city, besides the fact we can barely keep our streets clean, is finding the $10 million dollars to pay for it all. The Google and Earthlink deal had them building all the infrastructure for free. That's free, as in zero, nada, zilch dollars. Chris Daly is leading the push to go city-wide and asked the Controller’s Office to somehow find the $10 million or so to run the WiFi. Hey, what about trying under the cushions at all the couches in City Hall? On the other hand, the Google/Earthlink set up sounds kind of crappy.
Of course, this wouldn't be a debate in the city without some sort of catty little quips. Jake McG said the Board should consider every proposal because "Room 200 does not have a license to do dictatorship work, and that's why this is before us today." And Chris Daly added that we shouldn't necessarily go with the Earlthink/Google deal just because "they're popular, and they're snappy dressers." Surprisingly, Byorn held back in his comments back and just said the usual political spin. Come on, Peter-- what kind of debate is it in this city if everybody just makes bland, political comments?
Anyways, Left In SF has a pretty good summary of the pros and cons of the Mayor's proposed plan.