EarthLink hooks Atlanta up to citywide Wi-Fi

The home of the Braves is the eighth city the Internet service provider has signed up to deploy a Wi-Fi network.

Internet service provider EarthLink will be providing citywide Wi-Fi access in its hometown of Atlanta.

EarthLink announced on Thursday that it's negotiating a contract with the city to build, own and operate a municipal Wi-Fi network throughout the city.

"Atlanta has been EarthLink's home for many years," Donald Berryman, executive vice president of EarthLink and president of the ISP's municipal networks unit, said in a statement. "And we are excited about the opportunity to showcase this exciting new technology in our own backyard and, ultimately, change the way people access the Internet."

EarthLink has won deals to build networks in a total of seven cities. Philadelphia, New Orleans, Milpitas, Calif., and Anaheim, Calif., are either entirely up and running or have portions of the municipal network working.

EarthLink is currently deploying networks in Alexandria, Va., and Pasadena, Calif. It is close to starting work on its network in San Francisco. Earlier this month, the city approved the contract, and now the .

As with EarthLink's other deployments, the Atlanta network is set to offer residents symmetrical broadband speeds of 1 megabit per second for $18 a month. The company plans to work with the city to provide discounted rates for poor residents.

EarthLink will also provide open access to other competing service providers. IP telephony provider Vonage has already signed on to resell EarthLink's broadband service, along with its own telephony services, in cities where EarthLink is building a network.

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