Google Not Alone In Desire to Build San Francisco Wi-Fi Network

In my post about Google filing a proposal to provide free Wi-Fi access throughout San Francisco, I tried to make it clear that Google wasn’t the only company filing a proposal with the city. I think some believed that it was Google all the way. A article by Stefanie Olsen: Google faces obstacles in S.F. Wi-Fi bid, does a great job taking a look at some of the the other companies in the running and notes that whatever company, if any, is chosen, they will face “lawsuits or legislation” according to the San Francisco Mayor, Gavin Newsome.

Olsen mentions that, Ericsson, Motorola, Nortel, SeaKay/Cisco, Symbol Technologies, SkyTel, Extreme Networks, GigaBeam and Metro-Fi are some of the other companies that have submitted proposals. The Wall Street Journal reported that Earthlink has also submitted materials.

…consumer privacy is a concern, Newsom said in response to a question at the conference about the possibility that companies providing Wi-Fi access would be looking to gather data on the location of users to deliver ads, in an example of the value of such information. [Mayor Gavin] Newsom’s office will form a five- to seven-person committee, which includes [Chris] Vein, [director of the department of technology and information services for San Francisco], to analyze the proposals and make recommendations on them within the next three weeks. After that time, the committee will make specific requests for information for a network.

If the network is a go, the city hopes to have it up and running sometime in 2006.

Btw, as noted in my earlier post, a spokesperson for the for Mayor Newsome said Google will not receive an advantage because of their high or what calls their “celebrity” profile.

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