Houston One Step Closer to Wi-Fi Network

Houston is one step closer to having a comprehensive wi-fi network. As Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson reports, all but one of the councilmembres are pleased with the terms of the contract between the city and Earthlink.

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It's what Houston Mayor Bill White would call a good day in the city of Houston. His proposal to approve the terms of a contract with Earhlink for a city-wide wireless network was met with praise by 12 of the 13 people on the council. Councilman Michael Berry.

"What we're doing is unprecedented. To have an umbrella of coverage for the entire city which is basically what we're going to accomplish, no one has done and by the time we do it no one will have done and I think that's interesting. We were not the first into the wi-fi market and frankly as a result I think we're going to have a better product for our consumer."

Several other people chimed in with their approval of the terms of the agreement. The one holdout was Councilmember Addie Wiseman, who told the mayor she's received no answers to her questions about how much money the city may be expected to pay out for the network in the future.

"In the term sheet it was very clearly stated that the city would invest a minimum of $500,000 annually on this. Now this is a minimum that the term sheet identifies. The term sheet does not identify a maximum and that is a concern that I have."

The mayor responded with an explanation that no maximum was set because council will have to approve those expenditures every year when the budget is up for vote. Now that the terms have been approved, council will still have to vote on an ordinance to actually implement the contract. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...