Earlier this month, Alexandria, Va., joined the list of cities who hope to boost its business friendly factor by providing free, universal wireless access.

Earlier this month, Alexandria, Va., joined the list of cities who hope to boost its business friendly factor by providing free, universal wireless access.

The one-year pilot program includes eight blocks of the historic district that edges the Potomac River.

The network is not secure, which perhaps shields it from objections from other WiFi providers that charge for the service.

Also, it is largely an outdoor service. The city expects about $20,000 in start-up costs and about $8,000 annually thereafter to maintain the service.

There are detractors, including David P. McClure, president of the U.S. Internet Industry Association. He told the Washington Post he considers the plan a waste of tax dollars that will only benefit “very affluent techno elites” who could easily afford to pay for WiFi. “If you don’t have a job where you can take your laptop and do your work in a city park, it’s not going to benefit you,” McClure said.