Philadelphia is becoming one of the first big cities in the U.S. to provide wireless internet connection (wi-fi) to its residents. A lot of other big cities around the world are watching how this whole wireless effort turns out. The city is targeting to finish the project and have wi-fi ready by summer of 2006.
There is a great article on BBC News titled “Wi-fi Venture Tests Philadelphia,” which points out that the city’s primary objective is to reduce the digital divide among the residents by providing low-cost internet connection. The city will charge $10-$15 for the service.
Who would pay $40 to Verizon to get DSL internet connection or $60 to Comcast for cable connection? Probably, but not many.
It will be interesting to see how Verizon and Comcast will fend off their new competition — the city of Philadelphia.