Earthlink, a major internet service provider in the US, is all set to roll out the country’s biggest municipal wireless network project in Philadelphia. They estimate to fork out anywhere between $10 and $14 US million on the project which is likely to be completed within one years time. Earthlink edged past as many as 11 competitors to grab this project, including formidable opponents like Hewlett-Packard.
As per the blueprints of the project, EarthLink will build a city-wide wireless network in Philadelphia to provide residents and businesses with Internet access. According to Earthlink’s Chief Information Officer Dianah Neff, the equipment vendors selected for this project are Motorola and Troops Networks.
The wireless network will have an area spread of nearly 135 square miles and Philadelphia municipality department plans to offer free internet access in public spaces, which is about 10 percent of the city. In the remaining 90 percent, internet access will be available for a monthly subscription fee ranging from $10 to $20. According to Earthlink’s estimate, nearly 30 percent of Philadelphia’s 560,000 households or 1.5 million people are likely to go for a $10 monthly plan.
Though in financial terms, the project may not turn out to be an actual money spinner, analysts view it as a major strategic move. According to an estimate, over 20 cities in the country are likely to opt for similar kinds of wireless projects and if Earthlink does well in Philadelphia, it will be well positioned to stake its claim for those projects as well.