Yet more on the San Francisco and Philiadelphia WiFi Plans with a look at their

different "Business Models"

A Tale of Two Wireless Cities

It was the best of municipal Wi-Fi, it was the worst of municipal Wi-Fi. I refer
of course to last week, when two cities I have called home at various points in
my life made big announcements about unwiring their Internet access. 

In the City by the Bay, proposals came in from 26 different Wi-Fi luminaries
(some more luminous than others), touting their plans to provide free or
extremely low-cost wireless access throughout the city. Of course, to listen to
the buzz, you'd think only one company had put in a proposal because everyone
seems to be stuck on the prospect of getting 300Kbps of free bandwidth branded
with those cute multicolored letters in the Google logo. But there are much
more heavyweight names on the list, including big-name ISP EarthLink; cellular
companies Ericsson, Cingular, and Motorola; and upstart San Francisco wireless
maven Feeva. 

Meanwhile, on the other coast, at the end of a yearlong campaign to create a
wireless network covering all 135 square miles of the greater Philadelphia
area, the City of Brotherly Love has finally awarded the contract for creating
and maintaining the network. The winning bidder? EarthLink. The cost of the
service? Twenty bucks a month to most subscribers.  . . . . . . . . . .

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