Add Redmond, Wash., Los Angeles, and San Francisco to the list of municipalities considering building citywide Wi-Fi networks: The Redmond City Council just approved a proposal to support wireless Internet. The mayor of L.A. created a panel that will create a report looking at the role that Wi-Fi can play in attracting business in L.A. and the role the city should play in making sure the access is available to residents. San Francisco's mayor boldly pledged to make sure that every resident has access to free wireless Internet service. He also suggests that no resident should be without a computer.
Some of these pronouncements smack of politicians latching onto a buzzword in an attempt to show their support for the everyman. We've discussed here the potential issues with cities paying to build Wi-Fi networks in potential competition to commercial ventures. I'm curious to see if some of these studies end up reporting on the response that hotspot operator have to the prospect of competition from the city.