A perfect reason why Municipality is a VERY bad thing.
The top contender bidders were large super companies willing to spend lots of money, in exchange for the marketing benefit.  Basically publuc Ride of ways, that Small independent WISPs have had to fight tooth and nail to gain access to will just be handed over to the winner.  Unrealistic goals have been represented on what benefits the consumer will be able to obtain.  Basically the network will end up being a low grade commodity network, because it is being design to serve the masses at to low a cost, that the technology can't realistically support.  The users will then have SPAM and advertising forced upon them against their will.  New players will not be able to enter the market effectively, because of the subsidized competition of the municiplaity supported venture. Consumers perception of what a fair price should be, will be set/branded to low, making provider that offer a higher reasonable price based on what it costs to deliver broadband, to be viewed as a rip off company, destroying the ability for an ISP to offer a quality service for a fair price and gain market share.  Then the MESH node, which I can almost guarantee will be 400mw-1w Omnis at MAX EIRP will flood the city with Noise destroying the spectrum for the general public and Fixed Wireless providers attempting to offer quality.  Basically, its taking a very valuable and short in supply product (spectrum) and wasting it on wide scale commodity deployment instead of using a technology better for that, such as Cable that could be supplied in infinate supply.  At least if the left unclicenced spectrum to independent providers, a select number of consumers would have the choice to purchase a higher level of service from them.
These decissions brinf tears to my eyes because it strengthens three principles.
1> That low price is more important than Quality of service.
2> The big players with money win, regardless of whether they have the best plan or the best experience. For example, for a very technical project, they chose a marketing company.   
3> That a provider can feed a municipality a boat load full of unrealistic expectations and non-efficient spectral design and win, by buying the agreement.
I see a history of government that makes decissions based on being bought. For example, Microsoft gets off the hook for trust court battles, as soon as Microsoft agrees to donate a bunch of free computers to schools.  My point is that government has a responsibility to the voters adn tax payers, so their decissions are not always based on what is right, wrong, or best for competition or the industry. Judgement is scewed by their responsibilities to the tax payer.
A decission that will look good in the public eye, isn't always the best solution.  
Thats why its best for open market competition to make these decissions and not the governement.   
Tom DeReggi
RapidDSL & Wireless, Inc
IntAirNet- Fixed Wireless Broadband
----- Original Message -----
From: Cliff
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 9:05 AM
Subject: [WISPA] Earthlink to build Philadelphia wireless network



5:52 PM ET 10/04/05

Earthlink to build Philadelphia wireless network

NEW YORK, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Internet service provider EarthLink Inc. plans to build a city-wide wireless network for Philadelphia to provide residents and businesses with Internet access, according to the company.

EarthLink will spend about $10 million to $14 million to build the network that will include equipment from Motorola Inc. and privately held Tropos Networks, according to Philadelphia's Chief Information Officer, Dianah Neff.

The city chose EarthLink over Hewlett-Packard Co. , which was also short-listed from a group of 12 companies that offered proposals for the project. Analysts said the deal could open up a new growth opportunity for EarthLink.

"Strategically its very important. From a financial perspective, its not enough to move the needle in the short term," said Jefferies analyst Youssef Squali, who estimated that at least another 20 U.S. cities are looking at similar projects.

If Philadelphia is a success, it could help EarthLink win some of these contracts, independent telecommunications analyst Jeff Kagan said in an e-mail.

"This win is much bigger than Philadelphia for EarthLink because if they do a good job there are countless other metro areas who would hire them to do the same thing," Kagan said.

Philadelphia was one of the first of many U.S. cities to look at building municipal wireless networks, mainly to encourage economic growth and provide affordable Web access to poorer residents.

Some municipal plans, which essentially compete with incumbent services, have created friction with telephone and cable providers. The Mayor of San Francisco has said he was bracing for a battle with telephone and cable companies as his city plans to offer free or low-cost municipal services.

Philadelphia plans to offer free Internet access in public spaces such as parks, covering about 10 percent of the city, but outside of these areas, monthly subscriptions will cost from $10 to $20.

Neff said up to 30 percent of Philadelphia's 560,000 households, or 1.5 million people, may qualify for the cheaper rate of $10, with others being charged $20 a month.

The idea is part of a plan to boost the City's economy by educating residents and transforming rundown neighborhoods where sometimes there are no wires in the ground for Web access.

"We believe that affordable access to the Internet will help us do so. To be a city of the 21st century you need to have your populace able to use Internet," Neff said.

EarthLink said the network, which will cover 135 square miles, will be the biggest municipal wireless project in the country when it is completed about a year from now.

It will also manage the network and is expected to recoup the costs by charging other Web services wholesale rates to offer services using its network, according to Neff who said EarthLink would share some revenue with the city.

The service will be based on a series of interconnected "hotspots" based on Wi-Fi, a short-range radio technology popular among laptop computer users in public venues, such as coffee shops. About 75 percent of the network will be wireless with some wireline backhaul Internet links.




Cliff – Work







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