Thursday, March 02, 2006

Earthlink's Philly WiFi Deal

Earthlink has gotten the deal done with Philadelphia. From the AP article:

"Philadelphia Mayor John Street said Wednesday that the city has signed agreements with Earthlink to own, build and operate a high-speed wireless Internet network, with initial deployment starting in the summer and to be completed in early 2007.

Street recommended that the city council approve the contracts, which will span 10 years. The contracts call for Earthlink to rent 4,000 city light posts, subsidize Internet access for low-income households at $9.95 a month and share future revenue for funding of certain social programs.

"What an outstanding contract the city got," said Donald Berryman, president of EarthLink's municipal networks division.

He expects the network to sign up 50,000 to 80,000 subscribers by the end of its second year.

Building a network in Philadelphia is part of Earthlink's strategy to gain market share in municipal Wi-Fi. Berryman said Earthlink is open to building networks in other Pennsylvania cities as well. If Earthlink will own the network, he believes the effort bypasses a state law that bars cities from offering broadband services unless the local phone company first turns down the privilege."



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