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District Wire

New bill first step in getting free WiFi for D.C.

At-large D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange took the first step this week in an attempt to bring free WiFi to all of D.C.

Orange introduced the WiFi Task Force Act of 2016 on Tuesday during a legislative meeting. If passed, the bill would establish a task force that would research the best route to offer free WiFi throughout the city, “including the most efficient construction and operation of a municipality wireless network.”

The bill is co-sponsored by Councilmembers David Grosso, LaRuby May and Anita Bonds.

However, this does not mean free WiFi will be available soon. The task force would be responsible for studying the feasibility of such a network and the resources the city would need. The bill requires the task force to publish its recommendations by December 17, 2017. The recommendations would then be presented to the mayor, D.C. Council and the public for review.

With the task force, D.C. would take its first step in joining cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Boston, which all offer some form of free wireless Internet.

“A municipality wireless network would be extremely beneficial to the District by promoting economic development, stimulating innovation, better educating low income students, improving the quality and efficiency of District services, and making the District an even more tourist-friendly destination,” Orange said in a press release.

cwexler@theeagleonline.com


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