Will they, won’t they?

San Francisco may or may not become a wireless city anytime soon. Mayor Newsom’s plan to offer free or low cost wireless Internet service throughout the city has been two years in the works, but has not reached a resolution yet. The proposal by an Earthlink/Google partnership was accepted by the mayor’s team but is now stalled in the Board of Supervisors Budget and Finance committee. Some supervisors, including Chris Daly and Ross Mirkarimi would like to investigate the possibility of offering a municipally-owned system. The League has been following the arguments on this issue, because of its importance in helping all citizens get access to government and other public information. As more and more government and corporate information migrates to the Internet, it becomes more difficult for ordinary citizens to make good decisions without having online access. SPUR and some other community groups support the Google/Earthlink proposal. The League remains committed to studying and keeping abreast of developments. If the Supervisors do not approve the present plan, it may go on the ballot for decision in November, so voters will have to reach a decision about what kind of system they want for the city.

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