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Summary:

Remember the much-ballyhooed Wireless Philadelphia MuniFi networking effort that was going to be the cornerstone of a new EarthLink? The very same network that the Atlanta-based ISP had to abandon because it found itself sinking in financial quicksand? Many of us thought that the network that cost […]

Remember the much-ballyhooed Wireless Philadelphia MuniFi networking effort that was going to be the cornerstone of a new EarthLink? The very same network that the Atlanta-based ISP had to abandon because it found itself sinking in financial quicksand? Many of us thought that the network that cost $17 million to build was dead.

EarthLink offered to give away the network for free to the city, but there were political issues that could not be resolved. To paraphrase Mark Twain, the rumors of its demise might have been greatly exaggerated. Later today, a new investor group will announce that it’s jumping in to save the network at the urging of local politicians, though the plan is to put the network to more governmental use.

The investor group, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, is made up of local money men Derek Pew and Mark Rupp. Pew was once an interim chief executive officer of Wireless Philadelphia; he now runs his own company, Boathouse Communications. Rupp, an ex-Verizon executive, works for Boathouse as well. I will try to update when the official press release comes out.

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By Om Malik
  1. That is pretty exciting that there might be a city wide wireless network. But it will probably be so unreliable and bogged down that it won’t be worth it in the end.

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  2. It worked well for the short time that it was available. Now, you can still connect to the network, signal strength is good (depending on your location), but you just can’t use it. I mean it shows as being connected, but when you try to “surf” the internet, you get the old “not connected to the internet” messages. There seems to be absolutely NO explanation, or help ANYWHERE on the net for this problem. It makes no sense at all. No explanation from the city; no explanation from the company that supposedly “acquired” the service from Earthlink; and not a single word from our many local publications or news outlets. Way to go Philly.

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