Birmingham is too see the creation of a street-based wireless internet communications network.
The move formally seals a City Council agreement with BT to create a Wi-Fi enabled zone covering one square mile of the city centre.
Council leaders hope Birmingham’s system will be ready by early 2007 and claimed plans were at an "advanced" stage.
Councillor Paul Tilsley, deputy leader of the city council, said: "The project offers endless opportunities and possibilities - not least of which is to enable us to deliver our services in a creative and innovative way.
"Many cities have plans to implement such wireless networks, but this agreement shows we are serious about competing on a national and international stage when it comes to establishing the technological facilities that today’s world requires."
The city centre network will be funded by BT, with the city council providing access to its lampposts for technology to be installed.
The network will allow people with laptops, mobile phones, hand-held computers and gaming devices to connect to the internet.
Free access to the network will be given to council and educational services, while customers will be able to subscribe to a range of consumer and business wireless applications.
The initial coverage area includes the professional district, the ICC, NIA and Brindleyplace, Broad Street, the Jewellery Quarter, Eastside, Digbeth, and the main retail areas. Aston Science Park and Millennium Point are also to have coverage from day one.