Google Giving $600K Grant for WiFi in San Francisco Parks
Google is donating the money to enable the city to build a WiFi network that will work in all of the city's parks and open spaces by the spring of 2014.Google is providing a $600,000 grant to San Francisco that will allow the city to create a free WiFi network for residents and visitors throughout its 31 parks and public open spaces. The grant, which is expected to cover the cost of needed equipment, installation and maintenance of the system for two years, was announced in a July 23 story by The San Francisco Chronicle. Google will not own or operate the network. The city's 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," according to the The Chronicle. Some other city properties are already wired for free Internet access, including parts of City Hall, San Francisco International Airport and public housing developments, but an overall citywide WiFi system has never yet been realized after several proposals surfaced in the past, the newspaper said. The installation of the system will begin in December 2013, and all 31 sites are expected to be fully completed and ready for use by the spring of 2014, according to a blog post by city supervisor Mark Farrell, who worked with Google on the project.
"San Francisco should be a leader for bringing technology solutions to its residents and improving their quality of life on a day-to-day basis," Farrell told The Chronicle. "There are so many added benefits—it will help bridge the digital divide, it will empower local residents and community groups who will have access at local parks, and it will help Recreation and Park Department staff sign up kids for camps and recreation programs with Internet speed many people would be shocked doesn't already exist."