City moves forward with plan to provide free Wi-Fi downtown

Ciara McCarthy, City Editor

Evanston aldermen authorized the city manager’s office Monday evening to negotiate an agreement with AT&T that could provide free downtown Wi-Fi.

AT&T approached the city initially wanting to rent light poles to provide wireless service to its customers, said Jose Calderon, the city’s division manager of information technology.

City Council approved the potential agreement Monday but recommended to city staff that the contract with AT&T waive the infrastructure rental fee and provide free Wi-Fi for everyone in downtown Evanston — not just for AT&T customers. The network would be accessible from all public venues downtown, including sidewalk cafes, according to city documents. The project will also look into a wireless connection at the Clark Street Beach and the Dog Beach.

Calderon expects the agreement to be finalized by this summer, he said.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @mccarthy_ciara