ATLANTA, April 4 -- Arlington County today announced that it has selected EarthLink (NASDAQ:ELNK) to build, own and operate Arlington County, Virginia's Wi-Fi broadband network. The selection is subject to Arlington County Board approval at its April 28 meeting.
The Wi-Fi mesh network will provide the approximately 26 square-mile Arlington County a broadband alternative for residents and visitors to the County. It will also enable County employees to work in the field without having to return to an office and a traditional landline to complete their tasks. EarthLink will also enable Internet access for to-be-determined nonprofit partners of Arlington County, as well as create wireless hotspots at a number of Arlington parks, community centers and libraries.
Arlington County has been a leading locality in the adoption of technology to benefit its citizens and government, having been named one of the Top 10 Digital Counties in the United States by the Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties (NACo). To date, 'Arlington Wireless' has unwired its Courthouse Plaza; Central Library and other branches.
"Arlington County officials recognized the potential of wireless technology when it began deploying hot spots in-and-around government buildings in late 2004, and this agreement with EarthLink fulfills their Wi-Fi vision by delivering a countywide network for all residents and businesses to use and enjoy," said Donald Berryman, executive vice president of EarthLink and president of the ISP's municipal networks unit. "Our Wi-Fi networks deliver an affordable and portable broadband Internet connection at anytime, or in any place; and for businesses we will offer a wireless T-1 solution that -- when compared to existing landline offerings -- is mobile and more cost effective than today's existing offerings."
"Our network will also provide government employees with portability that will improve their productivity -- enabling them to remain in the field longer and operate out-of-office more efficiently," Berryman added.
"We're excited to partner with EarthLink to bring a totally wireless capability to everyone who lives, works, and visits Arlington," commented Jack Belcher, Arlington County's Chief Information Officer. "This service will create an amenity that will continue to distinguish Arlington as a truly world class community."
Arlington County is hosting a public meeting on the wireless plan on April 10 at 7:30 p.m. in room 311 of Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard.
As part of its commitment to open access, EarthLink will enable multiple, competing providers, such as PeoplePC (http://www.peoplepc.com/) and Vonage (http://www.vonage.com/), to offer their services to consumers and businesses over its network.
Wi-Fi is a term developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to describe wireless local area network (WLAN) products that are based on IEEE 802.11 standards. The Wi- Fi Alliance (http://www.wifialliance.org/) develops universal specifications, testing and certification processes to assure compatibility and interoperability among the diverse and growing number of devices in the marketplace.
About Arlington, Virginia
Arlington, Va., is a world-class urban community that was originally part of the "10-mile square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Known for its urban villages and transit-oriented development, Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use. In 2002, the county was the first recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth." Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world -- including the Pentagon -- Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.
"EarthLink. We revolve around youSM." As the nation's next generation Internet service provider, Atlanta-based EarthLink has earned an award-winning reputation for outstanding customer service and its suite of online products and services. Serving over five million subscribers, EarthLink offers what every user should expect from their Internet experience: high-quality connectivity, minimal online intrusions and customizable features. Whether it's dial-up, high-speed, voice, web hosting, wireless or "EarthLink Extras" like home networking or security, EarthLink connects people to the power and possibilities of the Internet. Learn more about EarthLink by calling (800) EARTHLINK or visiting EarthLink's Web site at www.EarthLink.net. < www.earthlink.net/ >
CONTACT: Media: Jerry Grasso, +1-404-748-7208, firstname.lastname@example.org; Arlington County: Rob Billingsley,
Web site: www.earthlink.net/