Philly Wi-Fi Test a Success

Officials in the city of Philadelphia said Thursday that tests for its citywide Wi-Fi project were successful, which means the city will move forward with deploying the network through the rest of the city.

The testbed comprised a 15-square mile area including the central part of the city and some of its less affluent sections to the northeast. When completed, the Earthlink-managed Wi-Fi network will cover 135 square miles.

Access will be provided at $21.95 per month, or $9.95 per month if the resident qualifies for low-income assistance. Access from public outdoor spaces and for those working in community programs will both be offered free of charge.

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Download speeds of 1MBps will be provided for a cheaper rate and in the free zones, with a faster 3MBps download service being made available at the aforementioned rate.

Officials say they are aiming to provide Internet access for more than 300,000 households on the network by the end of the month. According to census data, a quarter of its residents live below the poverty line, one of the highest rates in the country.

"This is a major step toward achieving our vision of The Entire City Connected," said Greg Goldman, CEO, Wireless Philadelphia.

As well as EarthLink, residents of the city can also purchase services through any of the company's partners, including PeoplePC, DirecTV, SuperPA.net, and Pennsylvania Online, officials said.

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