Thursday, April 06, 2006

San Francisco picks Google for its Wireless!

San Francisco on Wednesday chose the high-tech team of Google and EarthLink to bring free, wireless Internet access to virtually everyone in the city, possibly by the end of the year, repoerts SF Chronicle.
This is music to mu ears, as I spend most of my days in San Francisco I would love to have contineous internet connection. Hurrah for Google!
For its part, Google, in Mountain View, intends to provide the free, so-called Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) access. The service it proposes would be faster than dial-up but slower than a typical broadband connection.
In its joint bid, Earthlink plans to offer speedier access, but for a fee. No price has been set, but EarthLink plans to charge around $20 a month in other cities where it is negotiating Wi-Fi contracts, including in Philadelphia and Anaheim.
Next on San Francisco's to-do list is for the city's technology department to negotiate the contract with Google and EarthLink, a process that can take several months. If no deal is reached, the city can turn to the second-place bidder.

After a contract is agreed upon, the issue goes to the Board of Supervisors and various city departments for permitting.

It remains to be seen whether residents will use the Wi-Fi system as a replacement for their wire-based Internet connections. Early fears by the mayor that the telecommunications industry would fight the project by filing lawsuits have yet to materialize.


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