Free Wi-Fi was promised at 30 city parks, plazas and recreation centers via a partnership between the City of San Francisco and Google, per Marisa Lagos of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The City of San Francisco received $600,000 from Google in 2014 to help implement the free service, including installing Wi-Fi equipment and maintaining 32 city parks, including Balboa Park, Crocker Amazon Playground, Richmond Recreation Center, Marina Green, Mission Dolores Park and Boeddeker Park.
According to Lagos:
“The parks were chosen carefully, (Supervisor Mark) Farrell said: The city wanted to make sure free access is spread across the city evenly, is being offered in highly trafficked places and that the gift helped bridge the “digital divide” that often leaves low-income families with little access. Users will be able to log in by choosing the “#sfwifi” option on their smartphones, tablets or laptops.”
“From my perspective, this is just the beginning — Internet access is no longer a luxury; I believe it’s a necessity,” he said. “This is about economic empowerment, and what drives me is that communities that have not had Internet access before will now be able to be online all the time. It’s the beginning of a broader vision of ensuring everybody in San Francisco has Internet access.”
The project will also help low-income families who don’t have Internet access or Wi-Fi for their children’s online school assignments.