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Google Wi-Fi Deal Gains Powerful Critics

By Ben Charny  |  Posted 04-26-2006 Print
Updated: San Francisco politicians and the ACLU ask the city to rethink its Wi-Fi deal with Google and Earthlink.

A member of San Francisco's board of supervisors said he has some objections to the city's tentative plans to let Google and Earthlink jointly build a citywide wireless network.

San Francisco Supervisor Jake McGoldrick is concerned about how much actual public input there will be with the deal, and how quickly it's gaining the favor of key city figures.

It's unclear just what impact McGoldrick's opposition will have. Terms of the contract between the city and partners Google, of Mountain View, Calif., and Earthlink, of Atlanta, are being finalized now. It's also far in advance of any possible board of supervisors vote.

Read more here about how Google/Earthlink won San Francisco's heart.

McGoldrick's is the most powerful of the voices raised so far against a plan by Google and Earthlink to build a wireless network based on Wi-Fi, a wireless technology contained in most laptops.

The two companies would offer free but ad-supported Internet access, plus a $20-per-month plan that is faster, and ad-free.

Neither company responded immediately to requests for comment.


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