The New Orleans City Council has selected EarthLink Inc.  to build a Wi-Fi mesh network accessible to residents, local businesses and visitors.
EarthLink will provide a free service tier and a paid service tier. The free service will be offered for a limited time during the city's rebuilding efforts, offering speeds up to 300 kbps.
EarthLink will also offer a symmetrical 1 Mbps tier, for which it will charge unspecified access fees.
EarthLink will enable multiple, competing providers to offer their services to consumers and businesses over its network. For small businesses, New Orleans' wireless network will also provide an alternative for broadband connectivity, such as an affordable wireless T-1 solution.
EarthLink is powering the wireless system with Tropos Networks'  MetroMesh Wi-Fi routers, which will be affixed to light poles throughout the city. EarthLink will also deploy Motorola's  MOTOwi4 portfolio of products, including its Canopy high-speed backhaul and Wi-Fi mesh network equipment.