Home > EMR News > EarthLink shutting down Philadelphia Wi-Fi network

EarthLink shutting down Philadelphia Wi-Fi network

EarthLink shutting down Philadelphia Wi-Fi network
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 | 1:28 PM ET Comments0Recommend7
CBC News


Municipal Wi-Fi — once hailed as the future of high-speed internet access — was dealt another blow on Tuesday as EarthLink Inc. announced it was pulling the plug on Philadelphia.
The Atlanta-based company said it could not find a buyer for the $17 million U.S. network and talks to give it to the city or a non-profit organization had failed.
Philadelphia officials said maintaining the network, which allows users to access the internet from virtually anywhere in the city core, would have cost taxpayers millions of dollars a year. EarthLink said it even offered to offload its Wi-Fi equipment to an unnamed party along with an additional $1 million U.S.
“It’s been an unfortunate situation,” EarthLink chief executive officer Rolla Huff told the Associated Press. “It was a great idea a few years ago … but it’s an idea that simply didn’t make it.”
EarthLink and the city announced the ambitious plan to blanket the city with Wi-Fi four years ago. The company also announced last year it was pulling the plug on a similar network in Chicago because it was too expensive to cover the city.
About 175 U.S. cities have full or partial Wi-Fi networks while a few Canadian municipalities — including Toronto, Ottawa and Fredericton — have networks of varying sizes.
Toronto Hydro Telecom, which runs the “One Zone” Wi-Fi network in Toronto’s downtown core, announced it was for sale in January

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