Chandler leaders this week will consider following Tempe’s lead in turning their city into a giant wi-fi hot spot.
City staff and representatives from NeoReach Wireless are scheduled to brief City Council members Monday on a plan to mount antenna and radio units on city street lights to provide citywide wireless broadband service.
If approved, the plan would almost mirror Tempe’s network set to be completed in late February, said Margaret Coulter, Chandler’s communications manager.
When completed, Tempe’s program will allow anyone with a wireless-enabled computer to access the Internet anywhere in the city for a fee. Users can access the system for free in the downtown area from University Drive to Tempe Town Lake and Ash to College avenues for up to two hours per day.
In Chandler, users would have free unlimited access in the city’s three largest parks, the downtown area and the Chandler Fashion Center mall. Users also would be able to access the city’s Web site as well as sites operated by Arizona State University and Chandler-Gilbert Community College for free anywhere in the city.
The agreement would allow NeoReach Wireless to offer paid subscriptions ranging from $3.95 per day to $29.95 per month for unlimited access anywhere in the city.
Under the agreement, the city would allow the company to mount equipment on city street lights and to use up to $15,000 in electricity per year in exchange for 3,000 free network subscriptions for city employees on city business.
The council is scheduled to vote on authorizing the deal at 7 p.m. Thursday in council chambers at the Chandler Public Library, 22 S. Delaware St.
If approved, the company would likely start installing equipment in early March, starting at Chandler’s boundary with Tempe.