The city disclosed today that it has chosen Atlanta-based EarthLink Municipal Networks to provide a citywide, wireless Internet network within the next two years.
An official announcement was scheduled for a 4 p.m. news conference today, but the city sent out a premature news release announcing its selection.
While the agreement with EarthLink still needs City Council approval, its terms put Houston in line to have the largest such network in North America, covering nearly all of the city's 600 square miles by spring of 2009, White told the Chronicle.
Some low-income residents could get subsidized access for as little as $10 a month, and most customers would pay less than they do now.
"This is a very important initiative for Houston as it will bring the consumer cost of broadband down significantly and already has,'' said Mayor Bill White in the news release. "It will provide a scarce resource to help our low-income households have access, benefiting students at home, helping telecommuters for whom childcare or transportation creates limitations, and benefiting telemedicine in the future. Houston's workforce will be more productive.''