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Philadelphia Picks Earthlink for Wi-Fi

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Abstract

Philadelphia has selected EarthLink from among 12 vendors that bid on implementing a citywide wireless network. Key to the city's choice of EarthLink, said Dianah Neff, CIO of Philadelphia, was the company's proposal that it fund all of the infrastructure for and management of the network. Critics of the city's planned municipal network, including Verizon, which offers similar services locally, had argued that taxpayer money should not be used for projects that compete with incumbent businesses. EarthLink's proposal sidesteps that problem.EarthLink said it will sell bandwidth on the network to other ISPs and will allow users to connect using any ISP they choose. EarthLink has submitted bids for similar systems to several other cities, and analysts see the Philadelphia deal as a big win for the company.Industry analyst Jeff Kagan said that if EarthLink is successful in Philadelphia, "there are countless other metro areas who would hire them to do the same thing, over and over."

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