On Monday, AT&T demonstrated its support for municipal Wi-Fi services in a dramatic way with the launch of a public Wi-Fi network, serving Riverside, California, that could rank eventually as the nation’s largest. The project is the first of its kind for AT&T, whose decision to build a municipal Wi-Fi system stands in contrast to other major wireless carriers (such as Verizon) that continue to oppose such services. In cooperation with MetroFi, a leading provider of free wireless Internet services, AT&T will develop a wireless broadband Internet access network for the Riverside area, based on Wi-Fi mesh technology, that would be attached to power lines and other city-owned infrastructure. The network will support a range of applications to be accessed by municipal and public safety entities, such as the transmission of video between police department patrol cars, computer-assisted dispatch, and queries from field locations to integrated law enforcement and court databases. MetroFi will provide a free, ad-supported broadband service to be targeted to low-income groups, while AT&T will offer a subscription-based service for consumers and businesses at a daily rate of $7.99 or $15.99 per week. In the initial stages, the network will cover an area of three square miles within downtown Riverside and will be expanded eventually to encompass 55 square miles. As Riverside Chief Information Officer Steve Reneker described the network as “the perfect blend of high-speed public safety communications, cost-effective secured government communications, and wireless broadband for consumers and businesses,” AT&T Vice President Chris Percy proclaimed: “Riverside is at the cutting edge of technology . . . with the addition of this network.”