Atlanta, Georgia – (The Hosting News) – October 5, 2005 – Web host and Internet service provider, EarthLink, has announced that it has been selected by Wireless Philadelphia to develop and implement the nation’s largest municipal Wi-Fi broadband network.
Wireless Philadelphia expands the City of Philadelphia’s leadership position of using wireless technology to meet the needs of its residents and also enhance the City’s progressive visitor, tourism and business environment.
According to Garry Betty, EarthLink’s President and CEO, “Wireless Philadelphia represents an important milestone in the deployment of wireless broadband in the United States on such a wide scale. It provides a competitive alternative to high-speed Internet offerings and gives many Internet users the ability to stay connected, no matter where they are in the city. EarthLink looks forward to helping the Wireless Philadelphia board of directors deliver affordable broadband access to those who live, work and visit the City of Philadelphia.”
Dianah Neff, Wireless Philadelphia Acting Board Chair added, “In selecting EarthLink, Wireless Philadelphia moves one step closer to fulfilling its charter to strengthen the City’s economy and transform Philadelphia’s neighborhoods by providing high-speed, low-cost wireless access throughout the City. The EarthLink partnership is an unprecedented public/private partnership to provide wireless broadband access, as well as new and exciting future products in Philadelphia.”
EarthLink will implement a 135-square-mile, city-wide Wi-Fi mesh network, which is expected to be fully operational by the fourth quarter of 2006.
The network is intended to provide:
– Inexpensive, high-speed Internet access;
– Open access for multiple, competing service providers;
– Roaming capabilities for providers of hot spot access;
– Free Internet access in some parks and public spaces;
– Daily and weekly access for occasional users and visitors;
– Small business connectivity and serve as a wireless T-1 alternative.
Under the terms of the proposal, no City or taxpayer dollars will be used to fund the project. EarthLink will finance, build and manage the wireless network, and provide Wireless Philadelphia with revenue sharing fees to help support the Wireless Philadelphia Non-Profit Corporation.
“The two parties have reached agreement on the major business terms of the contract and are working to complete a definitive agreement within the next 60 days,” said Donald Berryman, President, EarthLink Municipal Networks. “Initially, we will construct a 15-square-mile proof of concept area, and upon completion of the testing phase, Wireless Philadelphia and EarthLink will begin building out the remainder of the City’s wireless network.”
EarthLink will also help Wireless Philadelphia promote ‘digital inclusion,’ a cornerstone of the project – which is a program to offer certain qualifying Philadelphia residents discounted Internet access at approximately $10.00 per month. For other subscribers to the network, EarthLink anticipates retail rates to be approximately $20.00 per month.
For further information, please visit: http://www.EarthLink.net.