EarthLink Cuts Off Philly Wi-Fi

wireless Wi-Fi

EarthLink had previously attempted to find another organization to take over the $17 million Wi-Fi network, either the City of Philadelphia or a non-profit.

"EarthLink has worked diligently for many months to transfer our Wi-Fi network to a new owner -- at no cost," said Rolla Huff, EarthLink's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "Unfortunately, our hope that we could transfer our network to a non-profit organization that had planned to offer free Wi-Fi throughout Philadelphia will not be realized. Since we have exhausted our efforts to find a new owner of the network, our only responsible alternative now is to remove our network at our cost and assist our Wi-Fi customers with alternative ways to access the Internet."

The company also filed a proceeding in federal court to receive permission to remove equipment from Philadelphia street lights, and to limit EarthLink's monetary liability to $1 million.

The termination of EarthLink's Wi-Fi in Philadelphia follows in a long line of other municipal Wi-Fi problems for the company. In August of last year, start-up solution provider ePath Communications beat out EarthLink to win a contract to provide a wireless network for Long Island, N.Y.. EarthLink has also shut down Wi-Fi networks in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Milpitas, Calif., although both cities chose to take over the networks from EarthLink free of charge.

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