San Francisco is one of the US large cities that are trying to build wireless networks in hopes of overcoming the "digital divide" that keeps poor people from getting online.
Large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as BellSouth, Comcast, Cox, Qwest, SBC and Verizon have been trying to stop the municipalities, claiming their services are affordable.
On the other hand, many other large companies are helping municipalities to build wireless networks. Intel was the first, helping Philadelphia's efforts and started "Digital Communities" to increase the adoption of wireless technology. Other supporters of the idea are Google, Cisco Systems, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, and SAP.
Google is only one of the 24 proposals received, Mayor Gavin Newsom said at a news conference Monday. If the rest of the decision-making process goes as smoothly as possible, such a service might go live within five or six months, Newsom said.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia is expected to announce its wireless provider perhaps as early as this week. The finalists for the bidding are Hewlett-Packard and EarthLink.
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