Business

Google gives $600K to bring free Wi-Fi to 31 San Francisco parks

Above: San Francisco's Dolores Park

Image Credit: Sean Ludwig/VentureBeat

If you’ve ever wanted more incentive to work outdoors in San Francisco, today is your kind of day. Google has donated $600,000 to the city to turn on free Wi-Fi in 31 public parks.

Six years ago, San Francisco wanted to blanket the whole city in free Wi-Fi, but that deal between the city, Earthlink, and Google fell apart. So now Google is stepping in to help make it reality, at least for some of the city. The $600,000 from Google will pay for two years of equipment, installation, and maintenance costs. After that, it’s on the city to maintain it.

“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,” San Francisco supervisor Mark Farrell told the San Francisco 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.”

After being approved by city agencies, Farrell believes installations will begin in November and will be finished up by April 2014.

The free Wi-Fi in parks will join other places in SF that are already equipped for it, including areas of City Hall, some public housing, and San Francisco International Airport.

Here’s a full list of SF parks where free Wi-Fi will be heading soon:

• Alamo Square
• Balboa Park
• Bernal Heights Recreation Center
• Boeddeker Park
• Chinese Recreation Center
• Civic Center Plaza
• Corona Heights
• Crocker Amazon Playground
• Duboce Park
• Eureka Valley Recreation Center
• Gene Friend Recreation Center
• Hamilton Recreation Center
• Huntington Park
• Joseph Lee Recreation Center
• Justin Herman Plaza
• Margaret S. Hayward Playground
• Marina Green
• Minnie and Lovie Ward Recreation Center
• Mission Dolores Park
• Mission Recreation Center
• Palega Playground
• Portsmouth Square
• Richmond Recreation Center
• St. Mary’s Recreation Center
• St. Mary’s Square
• Sue Bierman Park
• Sunnyside Playground
• Sunset Playground
• Tenderloin Recreation Center
• Upper Noe Recreation Center
• Washington Square


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