In Philly, Wi-Fi Means 'Willing to Fight'

Gale, Daryl
July 2005
Planning;Jul2005, Vol. 71 Issue 7, p24
Trade Publication
This article reports that Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street launched an innovative program in early April, that would bring wireless Internet to the city's 1.5 million residents. The idea is to turn the entire 135 square miles of the nation's fifth-largest city into one giant Wi-Fi hot spot by the summer of 2006. Wi-Fi, of course, is short for wireless fidelity and is used to define a certain wireless technology that allows a user to plug into the Internet from anywhere in the network. It is currently available for free in coffee shops and other designated hot spots, while private homes and businesses pay for the service. Under the Wireless Philadelphia plan, anyone with a laptop or desktop PC, personal digital assistant, or cell phone with Internet capability would have instant, high-speed access from anywhere in the city, indoors or out. The program would spur economic development and reduce the cost of government while helping to bridge the digital divide. Once the network is operational, a fee scale will be established for outdoor and indoor access to the network. Early fee estimates are around $15 to $20 per month for the end user, about half of what many Philadelphians are currently paying private providers for broadband access.


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