EarthLink and Google have formed an alliance to offer free wireless internet access throughout the city of San Francisco. They also plan to offer a premium service for a fee. EarthLink and Google beat other contenders for the bid, including Communication Bridge Global, MetroFi, NextWLAN, Razortooth Communications (dba RedTAP) and SF Metro Connect. Google will manage the free wi-fi service, and EarthLink will offer a 1-megabit-per-second service with customer support for $20 per month or less.

Google said in a statement: "In this proposal, Google will provide a free wi-fi service citywide and EarthLink will serve as the premium service provider. We have submitted this proposal because at Google we're focused on creating new technologies that make it easier for people to quickly access the world's information. It is also a way for Google to support the local community.

"We believe this proposal and our combined technological expertise will benefit the residents of San Francisco by offering a choice in connectivity and service providers."