ATLANTA,EarthLink has won another contract to build a wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) citywide network for a municipal government.
The city of Pasadena CA., home of the Rose Bowl, picked the Atlanta-based Internet Service Provider to erect the network that will cover 23 square miles.
EarthLink (Nasdaq: ELNK) is also working with other cities, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, New Orleans and Anaheim CA. EarthLink also said Tuesday that its PeoplePC subsidiary was preparing to launch high-speed Internet access over the EarthLink network being built out in Anaheim.
The network will deliver connectivity at speeds up to 1 megabit per second. Cable TV and digital subscriber line Internet services offer faster speeds.
More and more city governments or groups are seeking to offer Wi-Fi networks as a low-cost alternative to commercial broadband services.
“As Wi-Fi continues to be the connecting technology of choice for consumers wanting flexible and convenient online access, we look forward to working with EarthLink to bring broadband Internet access to homes, businesses and City departments,” said John Pratt, chief information technology officer for the City of Pasadena.
The city will be the “anchor tenant” of the network, EarthLink said.
Competitors will be allowed to offer service over the network, EarthLink added.
The network will be designed as a mesh, meaning signals from various transmitters will overlap as a means to improve connectivity across the city. EarthLink will use routers from Tropos Networks. They will be mounted on light poles. Gear from Motorola will also be used as part of the network.
In Anaheim, meanwhile, PeoplePC is offering high-speed Internet access over the EarthLink Wi-Fi network that is being built. The network is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.
The service is priced at $17.95 for access from a home and $21.95 for a mobile connection.
PeoplePC plans to offer the service in other sites as well, the company said.
While we have more than one million members who enjoy a dial-up connection, it’s no secret that many people desire faster speeds,” said David Rowland, general manager, PeoplePC. “As a wholesaler on EarthLink Municipal Wi-Fi’s network, we are able to give people or businesses in Anaheim the best of both worlds – a fast, reliable broadband connection at a low price. And, we look forward to bringing the service to additional cities across the U.S.”
The Wi-Fi service for home use requires a Wi-Fi modem. The mobile service utilizes wireless modems built into laptops that are compatible with either 802.11b or 802.11g wireless standards.