Michael Finn on 19 May 2010 07:32:03 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] (OT) Philadelphia Wireless

On Wed, May 19, 2010 at 9:06 AM, Edmond Rodriguez <erodrig_97@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Since this was a topic about a year or so ago, I hope it's OK for me to bring up this OT.
> Does the Philadelphia Wireless (WIFI) still exist? (Philadelphia wide free wireless).
> I was trying to help someone with it, and could not see a signal.  The pages I used to look at seem no longer around or I can't find them.  I used to easily find coverage maps, which don't appear any more where I looked (though I have not looked in the past two or three weeks).   I even tried writing an email contact I found somewhere on April 2, (info@wirelessphiladelphia.org) and got no reply.

Philadelphia bought the network back as reported in Philadelphia
Business Journal,

"The city said the purchase will be the first in a series of steps to
create a wireless network it will use to enhance public safety,
improve government efficiency and provide Internet access in targeted
public places."

The city also has plans to provide wifi access to low income families
and links to the old wireless web site now point to a Digital Impact
Group, http://www.wirelessphiladelphia.org/about_wireless.cfm,  whose
mission is:

"The mission of Digital Impact Group is to enable low-income families
and small business owners to gain access to the technology necessary
for full civic participation and full access to economic, educational,
health, and other life opportunities.


Originally created out of the internationally significant Wireless
Philadelphia Initiative, DIG developed an innovative model for digital
inclusion that successfully enabled nearly 2000 low-income households
to cross the digital divide."

The access points are still out there and if you can reach one, you
can get on it. However, they seem to be very low power and on my
handheld I have to go outside my house to make a connection that
sometimes drops very quickly. My desktop rarely sees the signal inside
that my handheld weakly detects outside.

A friend, who had the original wireless when Earthlink owned it, had a
signal amplifier as part of her wireless setup. I think you'll find it
difficult to see any signal from inside a building.
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