Internet search engine company Google confirmed it has made a proposal to provide free wireless Internet access via a wireless mesh network throughout the city of San Francisco, according to numerous media reports.

Google made the offer in response to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s request for information on methods to establish an affordable wireless network throughout the West Coast city. Other bidders for the San Francisco project include Internet service provider Earthlink, which this week was chosen to develop a Wi-Fi network throughout the city of Philadelphia.

Google could fund the free network access through online advertising, according to company spokesman cited in a Reuters report.

The Wi-Fi project is part of Newsom’s TechConnect strategy to fulfill a pledge he made last year to pursue opportunities to bridge the “digital divide” by providing even low-income people access to technology.

“As the United States lags behind other nations in equipping our citizens for the global economy, San Francisco understands that universal, affordable, wireless broadband access is essential to boost our economic, social and educational opportunities.” Newsom said in a prepared statement. “Providing universal, affordable, wireless broadband access is the just first phase of our new TechConnect strategy that will bring the promise of technology to low income and disadvantaged citizens.”