San Francisco moves closer to free wi-fi

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Internet powerhouses Google and Earthlink have partnered to build a free citywide wireless network in San Francisco. Theirs is one of six proposals to build an all-encompassing wi-fi network in the city.

Many other cities, from Minneapolis to Philadelphia, are moving toward municipal wi-fi. But all eyes are on San Francisco.

Under the proposal from Google and EarthLink, Google would provide free access at speeds of about 300 kilobits per second — on the slow end of broadband. Earthlink would offer higher speeds for a monthly fee.

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