We were just talking about this subject, the Times has a piece up today about the efforts of various cities to set up low cost WiFi networks. The focus of the piece is on for-profit arrangements with Earthlink and other providers, although near the end of the article they briefly touch on alternative models such as municipally provided non-profit service (as they have in some European cities and some smaller towns in the US). Why have the large city WiFi models failed? Are public-private for profit partnerships the problem? Have cities set the wrong goals for these policies? Will the US find itself at a disadvantage in a global economy if it doesn’t do a better job of providing broadband internet access to a larger share of the population?