WiFi in Philly by Mid-2006, but at what cost?

AP has an article by Michael Rubinkam, on Philadelphia’s surge forward on its municipal WiFi cloud. The Chief Information Officer Dianah Neff spoke about the pricing for the Internet blanket covering 135 square miles.

Businesses and other residents will pay more for the service but still get broadband speeds at dial-up rates.

Rubinkam also writes:

Neff said Philadelphia’s service will offer upload and download bandwidth of 1 megabit per second. In early March, the city will ask companies to submit proposals to build and run the wireless network, which is expected to cost $10.5 million to erect.

News & Record < AP




Personal note: This REALLY bothers me. Why? A couple of matters. First off, I founded a nonprofit that provides wireless Internet to low-income housing (still looking for more projects to launch in Greensboro area). I know for a fact that the lowest you can go for pricing with a volunteer staff of maintenance is around $5-10 a month, that’s with Greensboro fiber pricing. So how is Philadelphia, where cost of living is probably more, going to provide “dial-up” pricing? Interesting thought provoker.
Second, Philadelphia is going to provide upload and download bandwidth of 1Mbps? With WiFi? Who are they kidding. They should scrap their RFP right now, since that RFP is fine-tuned towards corporations like Vivato only (phased-array antennas are the only solution to guaranteed 1Mbp movement). Otherwise, bandwidth will likely go down as userbase goes up.
Last, 2006? Can we say OLD TECHNOLOGY? I’m bringing on low-income folks because they have nothing: no cable, no DSL, no wireless broadband. I’m even researching WiMax and Motorola Canopy, in search of better solutions to bring any inner city child’s connectivity up to par with any suburbia’s connection. Municipal clouds should be looking to WiMax, or MIMO technology, not WiFi anymore.
WIFI HOTSPOTS ARE A FAD. Look to new technology to build out for cheaper and better solutions. Well, this definitely proves that city governments are not on top of technology base. Most obviously Philadelphia is lagging behind some.