Philadelphia finds unused Wi-Fi equipment

The Philadelphia City Controller’s office has found unopened boxes of Wi-Fi access points in the city warehouse. The city bought the equipment in 2010 using federal grants for a public safety Wi-Fi network, but the plan to deploy it was canceled when Congress decided to create a national law enforcement Wi-Fi system. It’s not clear how much they spent on the equipment. It was part of a $2M purchase according to an article in

The boxes, which contain parts to the defunct EarthLink citywide wireless network, were found by the Controller’s Office during a routine review of equipment and inventory, the office said Monday.

Why didn’t they donate this equipment to the city’s schools, libraries, community centers, or even sell it on Ebay? It’s too late now because this is obsolete.


  1. Double Play says

    Most likely the boxes are Tropos/ABB 5×10’s. My understanding is those boxes are still widely deployed and in use in a few places like OK, AZ and MD to name a few known working public safety networks. Philly should contact ABB for a a few references.

  2. Esme: Great to see that you’re still such a strong advocate for closing the digital divide. I’m sorry to see that our municipalities continue to drop the ball in so many ways.