The saga of free wireless Internet access at Los Angeles International Airport drags on.
The contract for free Wi-Fi that had been submitted by airport commissioners won approval by an L.A. City Council committee on Monday, which means the item again will return to the full council on Wednesday. It requires a two-thirds majority vote of the council to approve or overrule the contract.
The $663,333 expedited contract with Advanced Wireless Group hit a bump in the road last Tuesday when the City Council voted 13-0 to stop the contract after some members questioned why other wireless providers weren't allowed to bid. The airport said it had no time for a bidding process, which could take up to two years, because current provider, T-Mobile, which charged $9.99 per session, was pulling out.
"The service LAX passengers request most is free Wi-Fi," L.A. World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said in a statement before Monday's vote. "With our current provider scheduled to end its service soon, we didn't want passengers left with no service at all." She said she hopes the council approves this short-term solution until the airport can complete a bidding process for a long-term contract that's expected to take 18 months to two years.