Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, February 23, 2006

San Francisco Receives Wi-Fi Proposals

New York Times reports that Google and EarthLink have teamed up to offer to build a free citywide wireless network here � one of six proposals by companies and nonprofit groups vying to become the municipality's access provider. San Francisco joins Philadelphia, Anaheim, Calif., and other cities to push for widespread wireless access.

What makes San Francisco different is that it could become the first major city to offer free access to ALL its residents. At least two of the six proposals submitted to the city would provide free access: the one from Google and EarthLink, an Atlanta-based Internet access company; and one from SF Metro Connect, a collaboration between Cisco Systems, IBM and SeaKay, a nonprofit group.

Jennifer Petrucione, a spokeswoman for Mayor Gavin Newsom, said that a panel of experts planned to evaluate all the proposals by April and make a recommendation to the mayor.