Philadelphia and California to get free municipal Wi-Fi

Tired of paying so much for your high speed internet, and thought you didn’t have much of an option to do otherwise. Think again, at least if you live in city of brotherly love. Philadelphia officials are on the verge of completing a deal wherein the entire city would receive free municipal Wi-Fi. The service would take care of all your high-speed needs within the 135 square mile area. Similar plans are underway for a number of California cities as well.

The service itself will be owned and operated by Earthlink, with which the city of Philadelphia has signed a contract. As far as the physical hardware to be employed, city council has turned to Tropos Networks. Word on the street is that Philadelphia will be live with free Wi-Fi within the year. Skype users must be jumping up and down.

I’m a little confused, however, because the report says that the service should be “lower than current cable and DSL subscription costs”, with a projected residential price of $16 to $20 per month. Isn’t that… not free? Anyways, low-income residents will probably get a discount, and premium business service will run in the neighbourhood of $50 to $60 for the higher speed connection.


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