Saturday, January 06, 2007

San Francisco's Google Free Wireless finally on the go

After 8 months of intense negotiations, finally has reached the Board of supervisors. If approved, the city will have wireless access within a year.

Once the system is operational, the Internet search giant Google will provide free service on the network at relatively low transmission speeds, while EarthLink and others will charge for faster service. The monthly fee will be $21.95, but 3,200 low-income residents will be charged $12.95.
“You can’t continue to rhetorically talk about the digital divide and not do anything about it,” Gavin Newsom, the city’s mayor, said in an interview.
The project has faced opposition from a variety of critics, including some who argued that the city should own the broadband network and some who raised fears of privacy violations. The new agreement establishes some basic privacy protections and requires EarthLink and Google to fully disclose their privacy policies.

Mr. Newsom said that as early as next week he would submit the plan to the County Board of Supervisors, which must give its final approval to the project. The network could begin operating within a year of approval.

Broadband news


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