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Pricing out the Philly Wi-Fi deal

That's the food court at Independence Mall in Philadelphia.Soon, you'll have free Wi-Fi there - and in lots of other locations in the city as well.
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Written by Russell Shaw on
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That's the food court at Independence Mall in Philadelphia.

Soon, you'll have free Wi-Fi there - and in lots of other locations in the city as well. 

Yesterday, Philadelphia Mayor John Street announced details of a deal that will bring citywide Wi-Fi to the nation's fifth most populous city.

The deal involves EarthLink, as well as Wireless Philadelphia, the entity created by the city to manage the system.

Here are a few numbers you might find interesting:

EarthLink will build, own and maintain the network for 10 years at a total cost of $22 million.

The system will consist of about 4,000 transceivers to be placed atop city light posts. Atlanta-based EarthLink will pre-pay $2 billion for the transceivers, including $250,000 due upon presumed City Council approval of Mayor Street's deal.

EarthLink will pay Philly $74 for each light post, per year, as well as $300,000 for surveying costs associated with planning this deployment.

Basic rate will be $20 a month for businesses. Low-income customers will pay $9.95 a month. Additional rate structure elements have not yet been disclosed. 

The city government gets 1,250 free Wi-Fi accounts. There will also be free access from 22 parks and public spaces, including Penn's Landing, Independence Mall and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

The first 15 square miles of this deployment are scheduled to be completed by this summer, with full completion due by fall, 2007.

Would you like to see a WiFi build like this in your city or town? Talk back to  us! 

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