PhillyWiFi – and then there were two

Philadelphia is inching towards realizing its WiFi dream, a dream that is shared by other cities like San Francisco. Today the word has come that Hewlett Packard and Earthlink are two companies that have been shortlisted for building out a Philadelphia-wide WiFi network, beating out groups that include AT&T-led consortia. That was expected given the incumbent relationships of some of the groups. Still, looking at it dispassionately, the deal is pretty much in the bag for Earthlink. I think Philadelphia is going to use HP as a leverage to gain more concessions from Earthlink. This is much needed good news for Earthlink, which has been one of the main victims of the Brand-X decision and lately the FCC decision to un-sharing DSL lines. The city of Philadelphia will announce the eventual winner in 30 days. Muniwireless points out that in the end the big winner is going to be Tropos Networks, which provides metro wifi gear to both the companies.