New Orleans has chosen EarthLink to build out the wireless network that currently provides free service to the city's residents. Telephone companies have lobbied against the network, which the city installed following Hurricane Katrina as an emergency measure to maintain communications between workers. The telecoms are legally in the right, because state laws say that publicly owned, wireless networks offering fast wireless service are illegal. EarthLink will build a 15-sq.-mi. network that will offer both a free service (no ads even) and a $21.95-a-month service that has faster data speeds. EarthLink will own the network and will rent space on city lampposts and pay for a nonexclusive wireless franchise agreement.
For more on EarthLink's latest muni-WiFi win:
- see this article from RedHerring