Urenio Watch Watch: Digital Cities / Cyber Cities

Wireless Philadelphia

Wireless Philadelphia aims to create a digital infrastructure for open-air internet access and to help citizens, businesses, schools, and community organizations make effective use of this technology to achieve their goals while providing a greater experience for visitors to the City.

Wireless Philadelphia’s goal is to strengthen the economy and transform Philadelphia’s neighbourhoods by providing wireless internet access throughout the city. The major objectives are:

  • To spur economic development
  • To enhance community neighbourhoods
  • To help overcome the digital divide
  • To reduce the cost of government

According to a recent press release Wireless Philadelphia enters final contract discussions with Earthlink.

“Philadelphia is one step closer to becoming the first completely wireless city in the country,” Mayor Street said. “Wireless Philadelphia will be our City’s bridge across the digital divide, helping to ensure all our citizens have the opportunity to compete effectively in the knowledge economy of the 21st Century.”

Once a contract is signed, EarthLink will implement a 135-square mile, city-wide Wi-Fi mesh network, expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2006. The network will provide:

  • Inexpensive, high-speed Internet access
  • Open access for multiple, competing service providers
  • Roaming capabilities for providers of hot spot access
  • Free Internet access in some parks and public spaces
  • Daily and weekly access for occasional users and visitors
  • Small business connectivity and serve as a wireless T-1 alternative.