Free WiFi for 31 SF Parks

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Thirty-one San Francisco parks, plazas, and open spaces will soon receive free Wi-Fi thanks to Google, city supervisor Mark Farrell announced on Wednesday.

The $600,000 gift from Google will cover the costs of the equipment, installation and maintenance of wireless capabilities for two years.

Installation will begin this December, and all 31 sites are expected to be ready for use by next spring.

Mayor Ed Lee praised the plan as a “great example” of the “public-private partnerships (that) are key to the delivery of better services for our residents in the 21st century.”

The proposal is a gift from Google to the city’s Department of Technology, “with no strings attached,” said city supervisor Farrell.

New York’s Free Chelsea WiFi Network was designed and installed by Sky-Packets which also handled the Bryant Park WiFi upgrade last year using Meraki gear.

The Mayor of San José (pdf), on March 14, 2013, cut the faux Ethernet cable to mark the availability of the free, Wickedly Fast Wi-Fi Network in Downtown San José.

Ruckus Wireless and SmartWAVE Technologies partnered with the city’s IT department to make it accessible in the downtown core.

Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless said, “On a smartphone, a user will be able to experience speeds of anywhere from two to three Megabits per second. This is easily three to four times faster than any other public network service,”

Over the past year, Ruckus and its integration partner, SmartWAVE Technologies, have been providing Smart Wi-Fi equipment and ongoing technical and engineering support.

Google worked with Boingo this year to provide free Wi-Fi at more than 4,000 hotspots across America as part of a collaboration with Google Play. The Google sponsored Boingo Wi-Fi locations include 15 airports, such as New York’s John F. Kennedy, Chicago O’Hare and Seattle-Tacoma, Boingo-enabled Manhattan subway stations, and thousands of hotels, shopping malls, cafés and recreational areas.

Boingo Wireless and Microsoft also sponsored free Wi-Fi access at high-traffic New York and San Francisco over the holidays.

Citywide WiFi, which former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom proposed in 2007, has yet to come to fruition. A proposed deal between the city, Earthlink and Google collapsed as did most big city WiFi network plans at the time. The cost of coverage for city-wide WiFi ballooned to $100K per square mile as the popularity of inexpensive consumer WiFi took off and raised the noise floor. In addition, carrier-funded 4G service became available which offered extended range and seamless roaming.

Here are 25 Blogs Featuring the Best Places to Get Free Wi- Fi.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Free Google WiFi for NYC Chelsea Neighborhood, Meraki Proposes Free SF Wi-Fi Network, Cities of San Jose and Santa Clara Get Free WiFi, Free WiFi: It’s a Right!, San Jose: Municipal Wi-Fi Comes Alive (Again), FirstNet: Get Utilities to Pay for It, Seattle’s Gigabit Fiber CityNet , Chicago Announces Free WiFi in Parks, Municipal Networks: Good for Cities?, Genachoski : Gigabit Fiber in 50 States by 2015 , SF Public Service Net: In Trouble?, Street light Provides Wi-Fi, Cell Coverage.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 at 2:17 pm .

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