Philly goes WiFi

Written by Wil Harris

October 11, 2005 | 12:52

Tags: #city #earthlink #philadelphia #state #wifi

Companies: #government

It looks like Philadelphia is following San Francisco's example and planning to make the whole city wireless. Unlike the Google-sponsored offering, though, it won't be free.

This, from bit-tech reader Brett Dunsmore:

"Working with ISP Earthlink, the city of Philadelphia plan to provide 100% wireless internet coverage to the whole of the city by the end of next year. The plan is to cover the 135 square miles with approximately 16 wifi units per square mile perched on top of lamp posts from which they can draw their power.

Unlike recent proposals by Google to provide free wifi to San Francisco, the Philadelphia project will not be offered free to all. There will be discounts for those on low income, and general pricing has still to be determined, but it is believed that the entry level service will be around $10/month.

Some have raised scruples with the issue of the Government effectively using pubic money to compete against other ISP’s.

Is this a conflict of interests, or a good way provide affordable internet access to the masses?"

You can read more at the Philadelphia home page here and here.

I have to say I have a couple of issues with this. 16 WiFi units per square mile - why not just use WiMax equipment? It's already being used, this would be a perfect scenario for its deployment.

Subsidies to low income households - what kind of low income households can afford WiFi laptops?

Seems to this writer to be rather rushed and not thought out very well. What do you think? Let us know in the forums.
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