Following unanimous approval by city council, the only remaining impediment between the City of Brotherly Love and ubiquitous wireless Internet access is a signature from Mayor John Street that, given his stance on the project, seems to be just a formality. Once Street gives the go-ahead, Earthlink will begin deploying its 15-square-mile test network in parts of North and South Philly, after which point the company will have the option of backing out should they be unhappy with the results of the trial. Assuming that all goes well, the city's entire 135-square-miles should be covered by glorious, data-rich signal sometime in the third quarter of 2007, which is when Earthlink and other ISPs will begin offering $20-a-month access with 50% discounts for low-income households. Besides creating a more attractive destination for businesses and tourists, the citywide network may also help convince U.S. Olympic Committee officials to choose Philadelphia as the country's representative to battle it out with other international cities seeking to host the 2016 Games.

[Via The Wireless Report]