Pasadena Selects EarthLink for Muni Wi-Fi Network

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-08-01 Print this article Print

The ISP starts talks to construct 23-square-mile wireless network that will cost the city's taxpayers nothing to build.

The city of Pasadena, Calif. selected EarthLink Aug. 1 to enter into final negotiations to build, own and operate a 23-square mile citywide municipal wireless Internet network, the fourth major metropolitan project the ISP has in the works. EarthLinks other current municipal Wi-Fi projects are being developed in Philadelphia, New Orleans and Mountain View, Calif. The ISP is working on adding San Francisco to its list of clients. The Wi-Fi mesh network, which will be built at EarthLinks expense, costing Pasadena taxpayers nothing, will provide high-speed Internet access for residents, businesses and visitors to the Los Angeles-area city best known for hosting the Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade each January.
The cost structure for users will be determined during the negotiations, an EarthLink spokesperson said. The standard subscription fee for use is currently expected to be $19.99 per month. T1 alternative services for local businesses would be priced higher, the spokesperson said.
Googles plan to team with EarthLink to provide Wi-Fi in San Francisco gains powerful critics. Click here to read more. EarthLink will offer a symmetrical, 1M-bps solution for customers and will work with the city to develop a digital inclusion program to offer discounted Internet access to certain qualifying residents, an EarthLink spokesperson said. EarthLink will deploy Tropos Networks MetroMesh Wi-Fi routers on light poles throughout the city to provide reliable wireless data connectivity between consumers and the Internet, the company spokesperson said. The Tropos system forms a wireless mesh, intelligently routing data to all parts of the network. The network will be operated and optimized using Tropos Control, an end-to-end configuration, monitoring and maintenance tool suite. In addition, EarthLink will deploy Motorolas MOTOwi4 portfolio of products, including its Canopy high-speed backhaul and Wi-Fi mesh network equipment. Atlanta-based EarthLink has had a longstanding relationship with the city of Pasadena. The company has had a corporate presence in the market since 1994 and currently has over 400 employees working in the city, an EarthLink spokesperson said. "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, Pasadenas chief IT officer. Pratt told eWEEK that the network provider will allow multiple, competing providers, such as PeoplePC, to offer their services to consumers and businesses over its network. For small businesses, Pasadenas wireless network will also provide an alternative for broadband connectivity, such as an affordable wireless T-1 solution. EarthLink was selected over MetroFi and NeoReach, Pratt told eWEEK. "EarthLinks proposal offered the best fit to meet wireless needs in Pasadena," Pratt said. "This was based on many factors, including: strength of the proposed business plan and company financials; level of initial and ongoing investment in the wireless network; technical approach; accessibility and affordability of the service; service to City departments; and experience providing telecommunications services." The city of Pasadena will be an anchor tenant on the network, providing city departments with portable access equipment that will improve and increase their field productivity—enabling employees to remain in the field longer and operate out of the office more effectively, the spokesperson said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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