ANNAPOLIS,Annapolis is preparing to launch a city-wide WiFi (wireless fidelity) high-speed data network, working in partnership with Nortel.

Network access will be offered free of charge to any user who has a wireless modem. The network is to go live on April 29.

The network will be run by Annapolis Wireless, a local company.

Other cities such as Philadelphia are rolling out WiFi networks but plan to charge for access. However, Annapolis Wireless plans to cover the cost of the network with sponsorships and advertising.

“Our partnerships with Nortel and area businesses have made the launch of this city-wide system possible,” said Phil McQuade, president of Annapolis Wireless. “We had advertisers and sponsors before we even launched the WiFi service city-wide, proving that businesses clearly see the value in reaching a targeted audience.”

Annapolis Wireless: