The council has launched a tender for a telecoms company to provide a city centre wireless network by next June, roughly centred around Princes Street. It also indicates that it could be extended to high streets outwith the centre including Morningside, Corstorphine, Portobello and Leith Walk. As well as providing on-street wi-fi, it would also beef up 3G and 4G signals through infrastructure that would be attached to street furniture.
When the move was originally outlined early last year, the council indicated that the provider would have to pay for the core central network but that there might be public money for extensions further out, and especially to deprived areas that would not be commercially attractive.
But the new tender states that the service will be "at no cost to the council". Although Edinburgh is also requiring that the service be partly free to customers, it makes clear that it expects a share of the revenues.
The tender also references £2.7 million plans to put wireless capability into the capital's trams, buses and public buildings, which was part of a bid in May to the UK government's £100m Super-Connected Cities fund. However, Edinburgh does not yet know if its bid was successful, and thus if the money will be available.
A wider £10.7m proposal was approved last year, but then had to be resubmitted amid fears from London that plans to finance ultra-fast broadband infrastructure for businesses in Edinburgh and other cities would fall foul of state aid rules.
The new total proposal is the same size, but includes several new elements instead, including wireless infrastructure for universities and business incubators, and a £1m archive of festival/cultural activity.
The council did not respond in time for publication.