Government Technology

San Francisco Offers Free Wi-Fi Along Three Miles of Market Street



December 17, 2013 By

San Francisco’s Market Street once carried streetcars, horses and horseless carriages. Today, Market Street features free Wi-Fi, from Castro Street to the Embarcadero, a distance of three miles.

After several tries with different Internet providers, the city finally built the system itself at a cost of $500,000, and included donations from several companies, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Department of Technology (DT) developed San Francisco Free Internet with hardware donated by Bay Area-based Ruckus Wireless, and 1 gigabit of Internet connectivity donated by Layer42 Networks, Mayor Ed Lee said in a release. DT staff and selected vendors designed and implemented the municipally owned service.

"It was simpler, faster, better to do it on our own," said San Francisco CIO Marc Touitou in a release. "The quality is higher, with the technical design by the Department of Technology. We wanted high capacity. ... We wanted it to be cool -- no strings attached, no ads."

Touitou's team ran fiber-optic cable along Market Street and then connected it to network equipment set up on traffic lights and other city-owned fixtures.

While the city still falls short of the comprehensive coverage once planned, it has 130 miles of fiber optic cable providing high-speed Internet to municipal buildings, neighborhood firehouses, police stations, recreational facilities and educational institutions.

In addition, the city just completed an upgrade of the Treasure Island Wi-Fi Network, and Google will install free Wi-Fi in 31 parks, plazas and open spaces across the city beginning next spring.


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Comments

Real Worker    |    Commented December 19, 2013

Nothing new here. For-Profit firms will build in their own perks in any contract. Dont underestimate the credentialed expertise of on staff municipal workers to get the job done right if given the chance.


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