Philly WiFi Network To Charge $20/mo

Earthlink, the RFP winner for Philadelphia's Muni WiFi network, has given some clarification about their planned pricing and business model. When we first picked up this story in September 2004, we quoted Philly's CIO as, "If you're out on your front porch with a laptop, you could dial-in, register at no charge, and be able to access a high speed connection..." But now we learn the price for subscribers will be around $20 per month ($10 for qualifying low-income families). I'm curious about why nobody in the blogosphere or press is discussing the fact that this is a significant change from the original rhetoric from the Philly government? Sure, that $20 sounds quite reasonable to me, but that's because I was one of the people who doubted that these networks could be successfully deployed cheaply. Now, the price is more expensive than the introductory price of DSL. The timing for initial deployment is slated for 2007 - which is a long time after the discussion started in 2004. Could it be that Muni WiFi is not as quick, cheap, and easy as originally expected?
We've both praised and criticized Philadelphia in the past because it seems they have the most well-crafted approach to muni-WiFi that we've seen, but we still have doubts about using WiFi in a Wide Area deployment. That doesn't mean that we're against Municipally backed ISPs, even if I am quoted in the notorious New Millenium Report. Some of our earliest doubts about Muni WiFi were the unrealistic claims made by the early announcements for citywide networks, which promised great coverage, social benefits, and free or low prices.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: wifi, wi-fi


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.