Sprint Nextel sues VoIP providers over patents

* Also: EarthLink selected for Philadelphia Wi-Fi network; Google's plan for city signals Wi-Fi ambitions

A unit of Sprint Nextel sued Vonage and another VoIP provider, alleging that the companies are infringing its patents. Sprint claims the companies violated seven patents on technology for processing and delivering packetized voice and data, including VoIP. Its suit seeks an injunction against further infringement and unspecified monetary damages. In addition to Vonage, the suit names Voiceglo Holdings and its parent company, theglobe.com.


The city of Philadelphia has selected EarthLink to deploy a citywide wireless broadband network, the largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the U.S. The Wi-Fi deployment is expected to be finished by the fourth quarter of 2006. EarthLink will deploy a mesh Wi-Fi network covering 135 square miles. The contract award in the controversial project comes a day after the city of  San Francisco announced it had received 24 proposals for its own municipal Wi-Fi project.

One of those proposals was from Google, the search engine that's trying to be more than a search engine. San Francisco is looking to provide access to everyone in the city either free of charge or at low cost. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the municipal Wi-Fi net might go live within five or six months. Google's entry into public Wi-Fi could be a boon to the embattled municipal broadband movement and signals the search giant's ambitions to broaden beyond indexing and boycotting reporters that dare Google Google. Google is also reportedly building a global backbone network to rival the Internet or telecom networks - you can look it up.


Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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