Since yesterday when the city of Philadelphia said it hopes to build Wi-Fi networks covering the entire city, two other cities say they're also looking into similar plans: The city of Madison, Wis. is closely watching the Philadelphia plan to blanket the city in Wi-Fi in hopes of following suit. This is one of the first times I've seen a city official discuss the affect that a city-run network might have on other commercial services. Madison officials are carefully considering how they should go about building the network and what it should cost for users because of the affect the network might have on other operators. I've wondered how commercial operators feel about municipalities using city funds to build networks that compete for their business.
In addition, a city councilor in Boston said he wants to cover all of Boston with Wi-Fi [link via John].
While the cities of Philadelphia, Boston, and Madison talk about building networks, Culver City, Calif. said that next Thursday it will launch a free Wi-Fi network in its downtown area. Vernier and Firetide are supplying the equipment for the network.
In other new network news, the State of Michigan also announced that SBC would build hotspots in ten Michigan State-owned parks, docks, and rest areas.