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Philadelphia chose ELNK to build a multmillion-dollar municipal wireless internet network. The bare bones of the deal are in the news link above.

According to the Atlanta Journal this could be an important victory of the company which wants to secure rights to build more municipal WiFi networks. ELNK will spend $10 to $15 million to to blanket the city. While it will install the network, the company must open the system to other internet providers that want to pay wholesale prices for access, then sell the service.

ELNK beat out Hewlett-Packard.

The expected payoff, for ELNK and the city, is sharing revenue from new internet users, including many who are expected to upgrade from dial-up. ELNK is betting there will be enough users to justify the investment. It is pursuing similar deals in a number of cities.

The agreement offers ELNK a chance to boost its revenue from broadband services. In 2004 two-third of $1.38 billion in revenue came from dial-up access.
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