June 18, 2008
NAC Provides Details On Wi-Fi Network Acquisition in Philadelphia
Network Acquisition Company, LLC (NAC), the company that acquired the former EarthLink Wi-Fi network in the City of Philadelphia, today provided additional information on the status of the network and business opportunities moving forward. The transaction closed on Monday, June 16, 2008. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. NAC founders include Derek Pew, Mark Rupp, and Richard Rasansky. NAC is a private company and does not have any affiliation with Wireless Philadelphia or the City of Philadelphia.
NAC will initially focus on evaluating and improving the acquired Tropos-based Wi-Fi network by tuning its performance for outdoor access, expanding coverage areas and assessing the future build out of the network's current footprint.
This initial phase will take the shape of refining and rebuilding the network architecture to be consistent with the new business model that will use Wi-Fi to extend the reach of wired networks rather than competing with them. It is expected that this initial phase will take several months to complete.
NAC will offer a wide range of fully integrated wired and wireless Ethernet-based services including high-speed Internet access and broadband private network services that leverage traditional access technologies such as fiber and copper. Its suite of managed services will be seamlessly and securely provisioned and sold to local enterprise customers, non-profit and community businesses, and government customers initially throughout the City of Philadelphia and ultimately to other metropolitan markets.
NAC's value proposition is rooted in cost savings to its customers as well a broad range of services to connect wired and wireless networks other providers can not replicate. Its target market includes enterprise customers with multi-locations and field and fleet services, municipal governments, and health care and educational non-profit organizations requiring flexible bandwidth and multi-location remote-based services.
In conjunction with its free community Wi-Fi offering, NAC is exploring services that would help offset its operating costs and provide opportunity to local businesses to reach consumers. Such services may include location-based advertising, sponsorships and revenue sharing with specialized consumer application providers. NAC is offering free Wi-Fi Internet access but has no plans to optimize the network for indoor users nor to provide customer service assistance for this community service. In some situations, users may be able to access the Internet indoors, but such access is not a goal for the company. NAC's approach is to make it simple for users -- once a consumer registers on the network, they will be able to access the Internet for free on a "best efforts" basis.
Local non-profit organizations including Wireless Philadelphia and Knight Foundation will continue to use the network to deliver their important work of education, training and digital inclusion for area residents.
"The investment in wireless is good for Philadelphia's economy and our future," said Tom Knox, an investor in the company.
"I am delighted to be joining such a strong team of Philadelphia investors and managers," said Dave Hanna, Chairman of Hanna Ventures and one of the investors in NAC. "The creation of this new business entity represents a significant step in the evolution of metro Wi-Fi and we believe will result in significant benefits to the community and local economy."