EarthLink tells council via piece of paper it spent $20m on network to date: The entire network was once estimated to cost $20m to build, and somewhere around 75 percent has been activated, although (according to one correspondent who attended the meeting) what that 75 percent means is up in the air--75 percent of area or population?
If one recalls, EarthLink and its networking supplier Tropos were once talking about 20 to 25 Wi-Fi nodes per square mile. Tropos as one time charged thousands of dollars per node, although my sources indicate that the wholesale price, especially in volume, is dramatically below that. Even so, double network density increases the cost of finding real estate, rental costs for such, and has all the additional associated per-node and per-cluster costs.
The company didn't attend the meeting, sending an unsigned statement and leaving Greg Goldman, the head of the Wireless Philadelphia non-profit that supervises the network and the relationship with EarthLink as the target of councilmanic questioning. (His prepared testimony is online.)
Although EarthLink apparently wrote that the network is "substantially complete," that doesn't appear to jibe with the 75 percent number. Goldman said EarthLink had "several thousand" subscribers; WP has 613 participations in their program for free and discounted access.
WP has now secured $1m independent of the fees and expenses associated with overseeing the network for digital inclusion programs.