SAN LEANDRO (CBS SF) – Free Wi-Fi will be available in downtown San Leandro by this summer thanks to a vote by the City Council.

Monday the council authorized the design and implementation of a new publicly accessible system that will be connected to city-owned fibers contained in the city’s fiber optic network, which is called Lit San Leandro.

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City officials said the new system will provide some of the fastest Internet speeds available anywhere in the Bay Area.

San Leandro Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter said in a statement, “I am very excited to announce that we are able to move forward with this highly anticipated project.”

Cutter said, “Members of the public have repeatedly communicated to me and my fellow City Council members how important it is for the city to provide additional public access points to the Internet, and this project is just the first step in our long term plan to accomplish that goal.”

She said, “Once this system goes live later this summer, anyone visiting our downtown area to have a cup of coffee or shop at a local business will now have free access to this incredible resource.”

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City officials said the new system will cost about $68,000, which includes installation as well as five years of maintenance and support.

The Wi-Fi system infrastructure will include a network gateway device housed on top of the existing Pelton Plaza entry sign and multiple access points on nearby city-owned decorative street lights. City officials said the devices will be painted to blend into their existing surroundings so there won’t by any visible change in their appearance.

The system will provide free high-speed wireless Internet access within an approximately four-block radius that includes all of Pelton Plaza and surrounding properties, The Village shopping center, Parrott Street, including the Farmers’ Market, and parts of Juana Avenue and East 14th Street.

City officials said that in the future they plan to build on the initial installation and expand free Wi-Fi coverage to adjacent areas.

San Leandro officials said the project is part of a broader effort to reinvest new resources in the city’s downtown core.

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They said other recent projects in the downtown area include the construction of the downtown parking garage, new utility box art wraps and the reconstruction of San Leandro Boulevard.

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