City officials in Springfield say the Illinois capital is working to start offering downtown public wireless access early in 2016.

The Springfield State Journal-Register reports that the network will be accessible in a 35-square-block area. It will be unsecured and free for the public to use. Mayor Jim Langfelder says the hope is to offer convenience and make downtown Springfield more attractive.

The network will be installed in phases. The first phase will include the area around the Old State Capitol and downtown hotels. The second phase will include the rest of the coverage area.

The city is accepting bids for the work through Dec. 30. The cost of the project won't be known until bids are returned.

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