Delightful. The dream of working remotely from Dolores Park might soon become a beautiful, frolicking reality. The fine folks at Google unveiled plans today to give San Francisco parks free wifi -- 31 of them, in fact. For those of you with old unlimited data plans, and thus disallowed to tether, today is a red-letter day.
Google will pay an estimated $600,000 over the next two years to install wireless connectivity in Dolores Park and Civic Center Plaza, just to name a couple. Free wifi should be available by April 2014.
TechCrunch has more:
Google’s $600,000 gift will pay for equipment, installation, and maintenance of the wireless network for two years. After that, Mayor Ed Lee says it will be San Francisco’s responsibility to maintain the network, but it will tap local commerce organization and tech partners for support. If the public’s reaction to to the “Free Wi-Fi In The Parks” program is positive, Google’s gift could pave the way for wider Wi-Fi. Google has paid for limited wireless networks in neighborhoods of New York and Boston, and also set up a paid fiber-optic network in Kansas City.
During the announcement in Balboa Park Mayor Ed Lee said, "We are behind. I call us the innovation capital of the world but we need to catch up. This is where the relationship with the private sector is so important to us.”
Best of all this means that, providing the weather glows, no more having to go to a cafe and pay for 1-2 hours worth of wireless when your home connection breaks down.
Years ago, if you recall, the city had plans with Google and Earthlink to provide us with free wireless. Alas, that never came to fruition for fears of tech companies profiting. Google, though, has promised this time around that the wifi will come with "no strings attached."
Oh, speaking of Google, the company also had some sort of new Chromecast / Nexus 7 tablet announcement today in Dogpatch. They served lots of bacon and english muffins in chaffing dishes. That was our takeaway. (Read more.)