San Francisco’s city government has issued an RFP (request for proposals) to build a Wi-Fi network that will provide free wireless Internet access to its citizens.
Mayor Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 26 initial proposals for the project have been received. The RFP covers several issues for what the city calls its “TechConnect” strategy.
Major firms that have expressed an interest in the project in the past include Google Earthlink, Hewlett-Packard, MetroFi, Skytel, MCI, and Cingular Wireless. The RFP is a 60-day process.
“We are committed to bring universal, affordable wireless broadband internet access to all San Francisco’s residents and businesses,” said Mayor Newson in a statement. “Internet access is the best way to connect to the new knowledge-based economy.”
The RFP addresses network issues ranging from broadband specifications and a business model for the network to coverage areas and security and privacy. The city said it plans to commence negotiations after a proposal has been selected early next year.