Free Wi-Fi across the city is one step closer to reality this week.

The L.A. City Council yesterday voted unanimously to start the process of receiving bids for setting up a wireless data system that everyone can access.

We would become the largest of nearly 60 cities in the United States to broadcast free Wi-Fi:

The city will seek proposals from vendors while at the same time “respecting the commercial carrier's basic levels of service and to not significantly influence carrier competition.”

Sounds like a tall order. But it has been done.

See also: L.A.'s Free Wi-Fi Proposal Moves Forward.

The rollout would include hot spots at city-owned facilities such as parks in lower-income parts of the city, according to a report.

Credit: Phil Campbell / Flickr

Credit: Phil Campbell / Flickr

City Councilman Bob Blumenfeld, who proposed free Wi-Fi for all, says his motion would “bridge the digital divide” between the haves and have-nots in L.A.

The proposal also would bolster the L.A. Unified School District's controversial efforts to bring Wi-Fi to its campuses, part of its program to equip all students with iPads.

[Added at 12:44 p.m.]: Blumenfeld's office tells us they hope to have the request for proposals out by the end of the year.

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