by oneafrikan on January 31, 2006
By Frank Barnako
From the MarketWatch website (can’t find the direct link – no easily visible search on the site!!)
WASHINGTTON (MarketWatch) – MetroFi Inc. is offering free wireless broadband service in a 25-square-mile area including Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, Calif., the heart of Silicon Valley. The company will support itself through advertising.
“Customers will be shown a banner advertisement,” MetroFi said in a news release. “Local businesses can take advantage of the local and regional nature of the network by providing links to their Web site, coupons, or announcements to those that are guaranteed to be near their establishment.”
Chuck Haas, CEO of the venture-capital-funded company, which was started by former Covad executives, said customer-acquisition costs are a business’s biggest expense. If you eliminate that, it’s cheaper to offer free service.
“We’ve broken the code on how to fund this network with advertising,” he told Wi-Fi Networking News.
Meanwhile, the city of Philadelphia has completed negotiating a 10-year contract under which EarthLink Inc. earthlink inc comwill build a wireless service and offer city residents low-cost Wi-Fi.
EarthLink will charge Internet-service providers a wholesale rate of $9 a month, and they will resell service to consumers, according to the Associated Press. The city council will assess the contract next month, and citywide access could be available within two years.