Earthlink, Google Team On SF WiFi Net

EarthLink and Google have teamed up and submitted a joint proposal to the City of San Francisco to build a citywide wireless municipal network. As part of the plant, the two companies propose a two-tier business model – a combination of free and pay service. As part of the proposal, Google will push a slower, but free network with connection speeds of 256 kbps up to 384 kbps. Earthlink on the other hand will offer a paid, citywide higher-speed service at 1 mbps, both upstream and down.

The two companies will share the cost of construction and operational expenses. To clarify, this is just a proposal, and not a done deal. The City has asked for proposals back in November 2005. The San Francisco Wireless project has been a politically tough effort, and I wonder how long it will take before the city does get unwired.

San Jose Mercury News reports: “Other proposals were submitted by MetroFi, Communication Bridge Global, NextWLAN, Razortooth Communications and SF Metro Connect, which is an alliance of SeaKay, Cisco Systems and IBM.”

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