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Slashdot on Earthlink Wi-Fi
More news on the failings of Earthlink wi-fi. I found this comment insightful:
Earthlink badly overreached themselves here with two major mistakes - first, deciding to use Tropos equipment to paint an entire city. Most of the money you burn in setting up a wifi installation is in the install and then trying to get everything to work when your planning tools are out of sync with reality (which is almost always). Tropos's mesh equipment is crap, so they've wasted months and burned untold money trying to nail jello to a wall.

Second, trying to blanket an entire city at once is doable, but it's far more practical to grow the network from little seed areas (while keeping future growth in mind) - blanket a six block area of downtown, for instance, and then expand from that. This lets you get everything right for a small area before you apply that to larger areas - it's the way almost all WISP (wireless ISPs) operate and it works fairly well.

I think Earthlink finally realized it wasn't gonna work, which of course makes all the assumptions under which they signed contracts not so great for them.