Philadelphia To Go Wireless

Philadelphia City Council unanimously approved a plan to blanket the city with a high-speed, wireless internet connection.  The city council vote was taken Thursday, and the mayor is expected to sign the measure soon.

The plan is to have the system fully up-and-running by the third quarter of 2007, and if they stick to the timeline, Philadelphia will be the first large city to have its own wireless internet network.

Earthlink, Inc. will build and maintain the network under a 10 year contract, beginning in June in a 10 to 15 square-mile test area to cover parts of North and South Philadelphia.  The test run will operate for three to four months.  At the end of the trial, Earthlink either can back out of the deal or continue building the rest of the network.  City Council believes that Earthlink will be satisfied with the results of the trial and will not back out.

Earthlink will invest up to $22 million in building the network, and will charge subscribers $20 per month, or $9.95 per month for low-income households.  The city aims to bridge the digital divide by providing low-cost, high-speed internet to everyone in the city.  The city also hopes to attract new businesses and travelers to the city as a result of the wireless network. 

1 Comment

  1. Andre GuntherAndre Gunther08-20-2006

    Google is currently running a test of free WiFi in Mountain View, CA. If the test is successful, I hope to see free WiFi in Philadelphia as well. Access is so cheap for providers nowadays, that it should be possible to provide everyone with free acess.

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