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.