W. C. Fields was born in Philadelphia in 1880, but left it as soon as he was old enough and never looked back. He became known for his derogatory comments about his hometown, and in a 1925 Vanity Fair article proposed that the inscription on his tombstone should read: "On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia." Fields comes to mind as Earthlink launched its much-awaited muni-WiFi service last week in the City of Brotherly Love. The service will allow Philadelphia residents and visitors to try out EarthLink WiFi free-of-charge until January 21, 2007.
The service is available in a 15-square-mile proof-of-concept area, which extends east of Broad Street and north of the Vine Street Expressway. The company offers offers down-and-upload speeds up to 1 Mbps. EarthLink is deploying Tropos Networks' MetroMesh WiFi routers on light poles throughout the area of coverage. Also, EarthLink has deployed Motorola's MOTOwi4 products, including its Canopy high-speed backhaul and WiFi mesh network equipment.