Windy City WiFi proposals solicited

February 17, 2006

The city of Chicago plans to seek proposals for a citywide WiFi system that would be built without taxpayer funds.

Officials plan to ask tech companies to submit their proposals in the spring for building the huge wireless Internet access network.

"The city won't invest money or operate the service," city spokesman Chris O'Brien told the Chicago Tribune. "The service cannot be too expensive and must be universally available across the city."

The Windy City joins the ranks of major American cities eyeing WiFi as a means of expanding Internet connectivity for citizens and accommodating the job-creating business community.

The Trib said that Chicago was already well-versed in WiFi, ranking third among major U.S. cities in the availability of hot spots behind New York and San Francisco.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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