Philly Picks EarthLink to Build Wi-Fi Network

EarthLink has beaten out Hewlett-Packard for the right to build Philadelphia's proposed wireless broadband network. Wireless Philadelphia, the non-profit group setting up the citywide Wi-Fi network, chose the Atlanta-based ISP Tues. to construct and run what will be the nation's largest municipal Wi-Fi network. Under the contract, EarthLink will develop a 135-square-mile, city-wide Wi-Fi mesh network for Philadelphia, with service starting next fall. EarthLink will absorb the estimated $10 million to $15 million cost of the network and share revenue with Wireless Philadelphia. The company plans to charge about $20 a month to most users, although discounted service will be available to some city residents for as little as $10 a month. The winning EarthLink bid for the Philadelphia Wi-Fi network comes as Google hogs attention for its proposal to offer free wireless service in San Francisco. EarthLink is one of several other companies competing for the right to build a low-cost wireless network in that city.

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