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Boston's Wi-Fi Network Takes Shape

Boston's effort to deploy a citywide Wi-Fi network is beginning to take shape. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino lit two hotspots this week and then announced that work on a demonstration hotspot for citywide access is underway.

Boston city fathers said they are committed to bringing wireless broadband service to all areas of the city in an effort to bridge the "digital divide."

Boston's approach is unique among major U.S. cities in that its model relies on a non-profit organization to oversee the rollout of the network. The non-profit plans to build the network and make it available to ISPs. The city expects subscriber prices for the service to be as low as $10 a month.

Working on different sections of Boston's Wi-Fi access are Verizon Communications, Cisco Systems, Galaxy Internet Services, Sky Pilot, BelAir Networks, GigaBeam, US Internet, Charys Technology Group and MetroNext.

Also participating in the deployment are the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and the Boston Parks Department.