A company that built a pilot Wi-Fi network in Sacramento, Calif., as a precursor to citywide coverage is pulling the plug on the project, the company said Friday. MobilePro last year won a contract to build and operate the municipal network for Sacramento. Now it appears that the city and the company weren\u2019t able to agree on how the network should be offered to users. The change of plans demonstrates the struggles that companies and cities are having in figuring out how to build and pay for municipal wireless networks. MobilePro proposed two models for the network. One would include a limited area and limited bandwidth service that would be free for users, plus a higher bandwidth service that customers would pay a monthly fee to access. The second proposal involved the city serving as an anchor tenant for the network, which would then supply services for free to low-income residents. The city rejected both ideas, according to MobilePro, and instead asked the company to offer services for free and support the network with advertising revenue. Based on its experiences operating Wi-Fi networks in other cities, including Tempe, Ariz., MobilePro said the idea isn\u2019t financially sustainable. MobilePro said it decided to withdraw from the project.In March, MobilePro launched a free pilot of the network covering a Sacramento park. At the time, the company said the proposed network would ultimately cover\u00a010 square miles of the city center and grow to cover other areas. Customers could access the network for free or for a fee based on the type of service they wanted. A growing number of cities, including San Francisco, are working on building Wi-Fi networks that offer broadband services to residents. While some initially considered paying for the networks themselves, most have evolved toward plans that involve partnering with commercial companies. Among the most high-profile cases is the Philadelphia network, in which broadband operators criticized any plans that would have involved city sponsorship, saying that the city would be using tax dollars to compete against commercial service providers. Philadelphia recently signed a contract for EarthLink to build and operate the network at no cost to the city.-Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service (Dublin Bureau)Related Links:\n\nEarthLink Approved for New Orleans Wi-Fi\n\nSan Francisco Wi-Fi Plan to Face More Heat\n\nNYC Sets Deadline for Wi-Fi in Parks\n\nBT to Blanket 12 U.K. Cities With Wi-FiCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.