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Senator Obama to Mayor Daley: WiFi Project Good for Chicago

September 22, 2006 - 1 Comment

SAN JOSE, CA – I wanted to bring your attention to a letter sent this week from U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago, Illinois, USA. In the letter, Senator Obama commends Mayor Daley for Chicago’s municipal wi-fi network project. Further, he points out that the wi-fi network will be the platform for services to citizens such as “safety/emergency services, economic livelihood, education, public affairs, and health.” At Cisco, we have been saying the network is the platform for a little while now and it is nice to see the same recognition of the networks importance by an influential U.S. Senator. Please see the letter in full below:“September 20, 2006The Honorable Richard M. DaleyMayor of Chicago121 N. LaSalle Street5th FloorChicago, IL 60602Dear Mayor Daley:I write to commend you on Chicago’s efforts to extend the reach of broadband and the promise of the digital age to all communities through a municipal scale wireless network. I hope I can provide support to you as these efforts go forward to ensure that all Chicago residents are able to connect to the Internet. Widespread access to the information, services, and tools on the Internet will help make our city and our residents more competitive in the economy of the 21st century.I specifically want to call to your attention ways to help leverage the infrastructure investment being made in the wireless network. For example, I am serving as honorary co-chairman of the campaign for a Public Internet Channel, which was launched by an innovative technology nonprofit, One Economy, in June 2006. And I have also been following the interest that local community based organizations have taken in the citywide wireless network. I want to express support for their efforts to ensure that the new digital infrastructure is open, accessible, and useful to every community and small business in the city. As you know, although millions of people now use the Internet, public service information remains scattered across various government and private web sites. Moreover, individuals with low literacy levels and non-native English speakers often have difficulty navigating through the available information. The Public Internet Channel will fill this gap by providing critical public service information on one clear, centralized site, in multiple languages. This web property will offer national and local information and programming in the following areas: safety/emergency services, economic livelihood, education, public affairs, and health.A number of mayors of major cities have expressed interest in piloting the Public Internet Channel in their cities, and the concept has been universally well received. I hope Chicago can follow this trend and become an integral partner in the campaign. And like the Public Internet Channel, there are local non-profits and community technology centers who want to help the city’s lower income residents make the most of new, inexpensive access to the internet both in their homes and at work.I am confident that our staffs can work together to promote effective use of the new wireless network as well as work to ensure that the resources provided on the Public Internet Channel are available to all communities in Chicago. Sincerely, Barack ObamaUnited States SenatorCopies to: Julia Stasch, The MacArthur Foundation; Chair, Chicago Wi-Fi Network Advisory Council Hardy Bhatt, Chief Information Officer, City of Chicago”

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  1. Its great to see a goverment official so involved in putting their stamp of approval on the significance of the Wif-fi network for future growth.