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Google blankets city with free Wi-Fi

Google gives its Bay Area hometown the gift of free wireless Internet access.

The City Council in Mountain View, Calif., unanimously approved on Tuesday a plan for Google to provide free wireless Internet access for the approximately 70,000 residents in the Silicon Valley town, Google said.

The search giant is still waiting to hear back on a similar proposal it made to the city of San Francisco. A Google spokesman said he did not know when the service would be ready for use. The company is focusing its Wi-Fi efforts on the Bay Area, he said. Last month, EarthLink won a contract to provide wireless Internet access to Philadelphia residents for an expected fee of about $20 a month.