Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has cast doubt over the city's plans to offer its own gigabit internet service. McGinn was a driving force behind the scheme, which is still officially scheduled to roll out to 12 Seattle neighborhoods by March, 2014; but in an interview with the Seattle-based tech publication GeekWire, now claims the service is delayed and casts doubts on its viability. The comments come as McGinn prepares to hand over office to Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray, who recently won the local election.
Speaking with GeekWire, McGinn questions whether the concept of bringing a private company in to set up the network is solid, noting that he's "very concerned it's not going to work." According to McGinn, Gigabit Squared, the private company in charge of the installation, has failed to raise the funds to build the network. The outgoing mayor says if a private company can't handle the installation, Seattle should raise money for a public service from tax dollars.
Neither Gigabit Squared nor Ed Murray have verified that the project is in trouble. After receiving donations from the company, McGinn accused Murray of being a "Comcast candidate" that could derail the Gigabit Squared plan in the lead-up to last month's election, but Murray publicly stated his support for the scheme. Speaking to GeekWire, Murray says he hasn't heard about any problems with the gigabit rollout. We've reached out to Gigabit Squared, which did not respond to GeekWire's request for comment, to ask for clarification on the impending rollout and allegations of funding issues.