Philadelphia and broadband aggregation

Submitted by acohill on Thu, 09/01/2005 - 14:43

Philadelphia's plan to deploy WiFi throughout the city has never made sense to me. I am never in favor of massive system deployments in advance of understanding the marketplace and making sure that you are offering something users want and will use. If a community is going to do WiFi, better to start with some modest hotspot deployments, watch usage, and adjust your plans accordingly. If the system is jammed with users--great! That is success. Now you have real justification for expanding your telecom investment.

But back to Philadelphia. This Wall Street Journal article reveals that there is method to the City's madness. What Philadelphia plans to do is to aggregate all their individual Internet connections and buy one large, "fat pipe" that will serve the entire set of city agencies, at a much reduced cost. And the wireless network will help distribute all that bandwidth to the appropriate city facilities.

Now that makes terrific sense.

And Verizon hates it, because the city will stop paying Verizon a small fortune for all those overpriced T1 lines.

But really....don't you want local government to save tax dollars?

If this is the City of Philadelphia's real plan, it is a good one.

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