Chicago looking for wi-fi partner

City seeks wireless internet provider

Chicago is looking to deploy a metro-wide wi-fi network.

The city issued a request for proposals last week, to construct a citywide wi-fi network so its citizens can easily and cost-effectively access the internet, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The wireless network will be built on top of city-owned infrastructure where access points can be deployed. The infrastructure will include street-lights and lamp poles, in addition to private sites.

According to the Chicago Tribune story, the network will require about 7,500 antennas and cost US$18.5 million (NZ$29.4 million).

Chicago mayor Richard Daley says one reason the city is looking into a metro-wide network to offer internet access to help the city’s lower-income residents. According to a statement issued by the mayor’s office, 80% of households in the city that earn US$50,000 or less annually do not have internet access.

The city is looking for a company to build and support its wi-fi network that can offer low service rates, and a free service to schools and city parks.

Other US cities with wi-fi projects on the go include San Francisco, Philadelphia and New Orleans.

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Tags technologyWi-Fichicago

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