Six bids received for universal
San Francisco WiFi
By Pat Murphy
February 22, 2006
A collaboration between Google and EarthLink were among six bids
received today to create an "affordable, universal, wireless
broadband network in San Francisco."
As bids closed at 5:00 p.m., proposals were received from Communication
Bridge Global; Earthlink/Google; MetroFi; NextWLAN; Razortooth
Communications LLP; and SF Metro Connect, Mayor Gavin Newsom reported.
"Affordable internet that is accessible to all San Franciscans
regardless of geography or income is simply essential - we must
recognize that access to information is a fundamental government
service akin to libraries or public schools," said Newsom.
A City review panel is scheduled to make award recommendations
Bill Tolpegrin, vice president of EarthLink, explained the submission
partnered with Google.
"Under the plan, Google would manage the free Wi-Fi service,
which will run at 300 kilobits per second, while EarthLink would
offer a 1-megabit-per-second service with customer support for
$20 a month or less," Tolpegrin said.
"Cable companies, telephone companies and local Internet
Service Providers are expected to be charged $9 to $12 a month
wholesale charges to use the Wi-Fi network for reselling their
own wireless service.
"Google and EarthLink would jointly deploy and manage the
network, but Tolpegin declined to say how much the companies are
prepared to invest. EarthLink spent $10 million to $15 million
to build a Wi-Fi network in Philadelphia that covers 135 square
miles," he said, adding that the San Francisco network would
cover 47 square miles.
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