Oregon Public Broadcasting has a report about the build out of Portland's citywide wireless Internet grid. (Dailywireless also has a report with a few more details.)
Starting later this year in the downtown and inner southeast sections of Portland, and later throughout the city, residents will be able to pick up an advertising based connection free of charge. Advertisement free service will cost $20 a month. The builders of the system indicate that when finished, 95% of the city will be covered. The bandwidth is expect to be 1 Mbps. In addition to providing access to residents, the city will use the system to connect to devices such as traffic beacons, parking meters, and other such city infrastructure that can take advantage of a wireless network connection.
It will be interesting to see how the local school systems interact with this system (According to the RFP, Portland Public Schools is a partner with the city...)
This is so very exciting to see. It will be interesting to note where Seattle - or anybody else - goes with this.