MetroFi, Microsoft team up for Portland's citywide Wi-Fi

Microsoft to provide content, ads for system that will cost city nothing and cover 95% of area.

Microsoft and MetroFi announced they will get together to build a free wireless Internet service for Portland, OR. MetroFi will launch the service in Portland's tourist center, Pioneer Courthouse Square, by the end of the year and expand it to the rest of the city within two years, Forbes reports.

Microsoft will provide local content and advertising through its new online platform, adCenter. The platform is similar to Google's AdWords.

"It's a great alliance," said Chuck Haas, CEO and co-founder of MetroFi. "Having either city or neighborhood-level content...demonstrates the next wave on online advertisement and brings more value to advertisers and subscribers."

Portland has some hotspots created by volunteer groups but this deal will turn 95% of the city into a hotspot.

MetroFi will pay to create and maintain the system. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company said the service will be maintained through advertising revenue.Users can opt for advertising-free service for $20 a month.

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