In a media alert released yesterday by Wireless Philadelphia, it was announced that Earthlink has gained approval to build out a 15 square mile test WiFi network to cover the entire city - approximately 135 square miles. Here's detail from the media alert announcing and detailing a press conference:
The Philadelphia wireless project was one of the first announced in the United States and, because tax payers money was being used to compete against private carriers, led to the creation of a Pennsylvania law that now requires municipal organizations to get approval from local telecommunications companies before the build-out of any WiFi network.
According to Yahoo! News as reported by Nancy Gohring and Stephen Lawson, IDG News Service:
"For six months, customers of a 1M bps (bits per second service) will pay an introductory rate of US$6.95 per month, which bumps up to $19.95 thereafter. A faster 3M bps service is available for $9.95 for the first six months and $21.95 after that".
"City parks will have free access, and low-income residents can sign up for service at $9.95 per month, before promotions. Customers can also pay for service on an hourly, daily or three-day basis".A number of other cities are attempting to negotiate similar agreements including San Francisco.