San Francisco’s Market Street gets a taste of free public Wi-Fi

Market Street view

Above: San Francisco's Market Street is getting a bit of free public Wi-Fi.

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Good news, everyone! Everyone in San Francisco, that is. More specifically, everyone in San Francisco who lives or works on a three-mile stretch running along Market Street. You’re (finally) getting free Wi-Fi!

The keen-eyed among you probably noticed the “_San_Francisco_Free_WiFi” network name that emerged on Friday, Dec. 13, but the system was rolled out over the course of a few months, despite being in the planning stages for years. While a tentative agreement had been inked with AT&T late last year, the city ultimately struck out on its own, with help from hardware and service donations from a number of companies, SFGate reports. Fiber optic cable links network equipment mounted on traffic lights and other fixtures running along Market Street.

It might not seem like much — especially in light of Kansas City’s Google-equipped fiberhoods. But Market Street is a fairly busy and important thoroughfare here in San Francisco, and free Wi-Fi will go a long way to helping out tourists or folks with lower incomes who don’t have access to all-you-can-eat data plans. The network cost the city $500,000 and extends from Castro Street to the Embarcadero.

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