TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Hub Sets Citywide WiFi Plan

Hub Sets Citywide WiFi Plan

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 31 Jul 2006 23:03:51 -0400

Nonprofit to install `open access' hookups
By Robert Weisman, Globe Staff

Boston will tap a nonprofit corporation to blanket the city with
"open access" wireless Internet connections, under a plan to be
unveiled today by Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

The plan, which envisions raising $16 million to $20 million from
local businesses and foundations, is a striking departure from the
business models used by other cities, including Philadelphia and San
Francisco, which have turned over responsibility for their wireless
data networks to outside companies such as Earthlink Inc. and Google

By empowering an independent organization to own and operate the
city's WiFi, or wireless fidelity, network, Boston is hoping to keep
control of the technology deployment and use it to spur innovation,
improve city services, and extend wireless Internet access into
low-income neighborhoods across the so-called digital divide. WiFi
allows laptops, handheld computers, cellphones, music players, and
other devices to connect to the Internet at high speeds via radio

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