In Jan 2012, the Telegraph ran a story on how Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea boroughs have agreed with O2 to build the world’s biggest free wifi network, this is mirrored at this thread at South East Central.
- Municipal Urban WiFi at Wikipedia, includes a list of Cities with fee Citywide WiFi, in the UK, Bristol and Norwich. (Liverpool has a paid service and the funding status for Newcastle in County Down is unstated.)
San Francisco famously experimented with free city wide WiFi. It was started with quite a splash and I was visiting it on a frequent basis. It seems they have suspended municipal investment in the programme in 2007 and invest in more directed programme to resolve the digital divide.
- A .pdf public presentation by Earthlink and Google describing their plans in 2006.
- A Marketwatch article, dated 2007, which records San Francisco’s abandonment of the Public Private Partnership efforts to provide a city wide free wifi.
- Mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newson’s 2008 inaugural address, he resigned to become California’s Lieutenant Governor, but had promised to continue efforts to expand the service. The current mayor is Edwin Lee, the municipal department responsible for Digitial Inclusion is the Department of Technology.
- A UCB Report about Digital Inclusion in San Francisco, dated 2007, possibly the research foundation of today’s city policies.
- A wired article talking about SFO Wifi II driven by Meraki, sounds like BT Fon in terms of distributed asset ownership, and in part administration.