|Philadelphia To Go Completely Wi-Fi By 2006
April 08, 2005
Sarasota, FL - Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street announced plans yesterday for developing a public-private partnership to provide wireless high-speed Internet access throughout the city, an area encompassing 135 square miles. That would make Philadelphia the largest "hot spot" in the country, according to Reuters.
“To successfully compete in the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century, world-class cities must position themselves on the cutting edge of technology,” Street said.
“Wireless Philadelphia,” a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation, has been charged with “building a plan to lay the foundation for Philadelphia as a Digital City and to make broadband affordable for everyone,” said Dianah Neff, Philadelphia’s Chief Information Officer.
The nonprofit corporation will make wireless Internet access available to private Service Providers, institutions and other nonprofits at low, wholesale prices. Individuals and businesses will be able to purchase broadband access from these parties at what had been dial-up prices.
Reuters reported that the "Wireless Philadelphia" network (based on devices attached to city streetlight poles) is expected to be up by late summer 2006 and available to computer users at prices ranging from $16-$20 per month. Current pricing for wireless Internet access is about $40/month. According to Reuters, the city hopes the new Wi-Fi plan will get 80% of Philadelphia households online within five years, up from the current level of 58%.
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