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8/1/2006
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Brief: Mac-Only Net Kick-Starts Boston Wi-Fi Plan

The Mac network, dubbed Bostonopen.net, offers access to mobile Mac users for $15 a month.

Boston's just announced non-profit, citywide Wi-Fi network will be jump-started with a Mac-only network.

Entrepreneur Michael Oh said he plans to operate the Mac network under the aegis of Boston's planned non-profit Wi-Fi umbrella firm.

"Mac users already know that they need less support than PC users," said Oh, who is the cofounder and president of Tech Superpowers. "So, if they're easier to support, they deserve cheaper access." Oh said the Mac network, called BostonOpen.net, will provide access for about $15 a month for mobile Mac users. Oh said he believes the wireless network will be the first Mac-only wireless ISP in the country.

NewburyOpen.net, a business also operated by Oh delivers Wi-Fi along Boston's upscale Newbury Street.

Mayor Thomas Menino named Pamela Reeve, former chief executive of software company Lightbridge Inc. to head up the effort to raise as much as $20 million in funding for the non-profit firm that will provide an umbrella for ISPs and firms that will provide the actual Wi-Fi access. The non-profit umbrella organization will provide infrastructure including backhaul services and fiber lines, but won't deliver service to end users.

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