According to a recent report by the Chicago Tribune the city is looking to offer a free wi-fi grid to blanket the city of Chicago. This will help to bring Chicago up to speed with San Francisco [with help from Google] and Milwaukee two cities already moving towards implementing a wi-fi solution. Not to mention Miami, Minneapolis and Philadelphia are also all leading citywide wi-fi movements.
I am pleased to see Chicago is making an effort to offer wireless Internet services. It will be great to be able to head to the local coffee shop or book store not have to pay $10 for an hour of wi-fi Internet access. Though, it sounds like this project will take a little bit of time to materialize. Proposals are being accepted in spring of 2006, with a decision on a proposal coming in late summer or fall of 2006. This could mean that the actual wireless implementation is not started until winter of 2007. In the mean time, if you are looking for free wi-fi service in your area you may want to read this post on wi-fi locating.