In somewhat predictable news (as in, we sure saw it coming), GeekWire reports that Mayor Mike McGinn's anointed broadband startup, Gigabit Squared, may not be able to deliver its already-delayed promise to provide super-high-speed broadband service to 12 Seattle neighborhoods because it lacks financial backing. GeekWire reports:
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn — a longtime champion of the project who will leave office at the end of the year — acknowledged the setback in an interview with GeekWire this afternoon. He said Gigabit Squared, the company behind the project, is having problems securing financing to install the network, and he raised questions about the project’s future.
“We’re now a year into it and the question is, will it work or not?” McGinn said inside his office at City Hall. He acknowledged that he’s ”very concerned it’s not going to work.”
McGinn won big political points late in the mayor's race campaign when a Washington Post reporter ran a pro-McGinn story trashing his opponent Ed Murray for taking money from Comcast and showing, in the Post's words, "limited enthusiasm" for Gigabit. The headline: "Comcast is donating heavily to defeat the mayor who is bringing gigabit fiber to Seattle."
The thinly reported Post article concluded that the mayoral election "could determine whether Seattle residents have new options for high-speed broadband service, or will have to make do with the slower services already offered by incumbents like Comcast"—implying that McGinn wanted more options, and Murray wanted slower service provided by Comcast.
During the campaign, Murray told PubliCola that contrary to the odd Post story, he didn't oppose Gigabit, but wanted to open the process up to some kind of competition rather than choosing a single company for favorable treatment.
PubliCola reported on Comcast's donations to Murray before the Post, though (unlike the Post) we didn't go on to to make up a story line about the awesome Gigabit Squared.
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