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Philadelphia wants to buy Earthlink's former hardware, keep municipal WiFi dream alive

Tim Stevens

It never came to pass. Philadelphia's city-wide WiFi plan was announced in 2006 and then, after struggling on for two years, died when Earthlink decided it wanted nothing to do with muni wireless. A private company called NAC bought the hardware last year and now the city wants to buy it from them for $2 million. The Mayor's Office pledges to "provide free internet in targeted public spaces," which is somewhat less aggressive than the previous city-wide reach, but ditching the $20/month that Earthlink was asking seems like a fair trade. The only question now is exactly which spaces will be targeted, and if South Street Philly Bagels doesn't make the list that's a damn shame.

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