San Francisco residents rejoice! Citywide Wi-Fi Internet is on the way

When San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced the city's plans to offer a free Wi-Fi network in October 2004, he hoped to prove that the plan wasn't too far fetched.  A city panel has chosen Google and Earthlink for wireless Internet across the city of San Francisco.  Google will offer a free Internet service funded by advertising and Earthlink will offer higher access speeds with a paid service for around $20 per month. If the deal is successfully completed, everyone within city limits will have access to free and/or affordable Internet access.  Google and Earthlink will now complete negotiations with the city -- both sides hope a deal will be completed soon.  The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

The project, championed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, is intended to boost the city's technology credentials and help bridge the digital divide between the Internet haves and have-nots. It has also generated intense interest from other cities looking to build similar networks.

The project that could cost as much as $15 million may begin as early as next year.

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