Wi-Fi junkies should rejoice….The Philly Wi-Fi will now be free to use anywhere in the city. The wireless network was bought out by private investors yesterday. It is not completely free, in that you will see ads when you surf the net, but that’s still a good deal.
Google is now offering free wireless internet connection in Mountain View, California. It’s all nice of Google and stuff….. except I think it is another way for Google to connect more people to its services and market its products. Very smart move.
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.