San Francisco launched municipal wireless Internet access in 32 parks, plazas and open spaces across the city in its continued effort to provide every citizen with a free way to connect online.
Wi-Fi in the parks compliments the existing free public Internet access along the entire Market Street corridor — starting in the Castro neighborhood and ending at The Embarcadero, one of the city’s main economic areas — and builds on the effort to increase Wi-Fi access that has been available since 2005 at 28 public libraries.
“Wi-Fi in our City’s parks is another step toward a larger vision of connectivity for our city as a whole, bridging the digital divide and ensuring that our diverse communities have access to innovation,” Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement. “This project is a top priority for my administration because of the endless benefits that free Wi-Fi will bring to the residents and visitors of San Francisco.”
— Edwin Lee (@mayoredlee) October 1, 2014
The expanding Wi-Fi project has been in the works for the past two years as Mark Farrell, one of the city’s supervisors, has helped the city partner with the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation, known as sf.citi, to create the project. Google, a member of the organization, donated $608,000 tothe city via a grant to fund the initiative. The San Francisco Department of Technology installed and will maintain the network and service.
“San Francisco is the hub of technology innovation and has a leadership role in leveling the playing field when it comes to access to the internet,” acting Chief Information Officer Miguel Gamiño said. “Powering up parks across San Francisco with #SFWiFi gets us closer to bridging the digital divide by allowing the public to explore apps, share images and access City services on a free and robust WiFi network.”
San Francisco has been developing a strategic plan to further expand connectivity for the public benefit in various locations across the city and continues to work collaboratively with organizations and members of the public in ensuring that Internet connectivity and high speed Internet is accessible for all residents.
“SF Rec and Park is pleased the community broadband network will be the newest addition to our improved park amenities,” Recreation and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg said. “The network will create new ways for the public to enjoy our parks.”