Google is one step closer to its plans to provide free wireless internet access in the San Francisco Bay area, following a decision by the US Department of Telecoms and Information Services that puts it top of a list of six competing pitches.
The search giant plans to join forces with EarthLink to offer the free service for those willing to browse ads while surfing.
A paid-for ad-free service is expected to cost San Francisco residents $20 (£11.50) a month. The proposed free service would allow browsing at speeds of up to 300Kbps, although the paid-for EarthLink service could offer higher speeds.
Google and EarthLink's proposal now goes forward to further negotiations with the council. The deal will only be offered to the next bidder on the list if the two parties cannot reach an agreement.
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