Documentary on the "Wireless Philadelphia" City-wide WiFi Project Released Before Network Goes Dark

Over on Wi-Fi Net News, Glenn Fleishman pointed out the release of a 13-minute documentary on the Wireless Philadelphia Project.


Change is in the Airwaves: A Documentary about the Philadelphia Wireless Initiative from George Rausch on Vimeo.

Wireless Philadelphia is a city-wide WiFi project that began in September 2006. The leading provider to the service, Earthlink, has decided to shutdown the network on June 12, 2008.

This is a partially-finished documentary, which is appropriate considering the fact that Wireless Philadelphia is a partially-finished network that never achieved its goal of providing digital inclusion to the city's under-served communities.

As somebody who spends a fair amount of time in Philadelphia, I am sorry that Wireless Philadelphia hasn't taken off. Its primary goals are noble. However I think Philadelphia doesn't have the critical mass of home web users in the service areas who were willing to depend on this Wireless Philadelphia for access. Earthlink also made some huge mistakes in estimating the infrastructure needed to provide WiFi access over such a wide area.

I hope that some providers are found to take over the network and keep it running, but I doubt that this will actually happen.