SF picks Google/Earthlink for citywide network

Google to deliver free Wi-Fi across the city, but some groups complain bid doesn't go far enough to help bridge digital divide.

No surprise, really: San Francisco selected Google and EarthLink to provide a combination of free and paid Wi-Fi across San Francisco. News.com reports:

"We are thrilled that the San Francisco TechConnect committee has selected the EarthLink proposal, and we look forward to taking the next step to negotiate a contract to build a municipal wireless broadband network," EarthLink Executive Vice President Donald Berryman wrote in a blog. "San Francisco is one of the most progressive cities in the world, and our combined offerings with Google, Motorola and Tropos Networks will stretch the possibilities of what a mobile network can do for residents, businesses, municipal government and visitors."

The contract must still be approved by the city of San Francisco and reviewed by the Board of Supervisors. It will be eight months before the service rolls out.

But Media Alliance came out against the selection, claiming Google isn't doing enough to bridge the digital divide.