Free Citywide WiFi for San Francisco?

I read on Engadget earlier yesterday that Mayor Newsom apparently wants to make San Francisco the world’s biggest free hotspot. The Yahoo! article on the news mentioned the currently free WiFi spots at Union Square and at SBC Park, and how Newsom plans to have more free WiFi spots around other sections of the city like City Hall.

It’s certainly an ambitious proposition, and makes a nerd like me quite happy, but I’m wondering if there isn’t some ulterior motive to all this. Not to mention if we even have the money for this kind of thing. Interesting news, all the same.

2 Comments so far

  1. furlinedteacup (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2004 @ 2:49 pm

    I’ve tried using the Union Square wifi hotspot and had mixed results. I believe they launched it in conjunction with the Hearts in SF art exhibit. It’s a great idea though. Blogger cheesebikini created a pretty comprehensive map of free SF wifi access points that I hope folks will help keep up-to-date.

  2. Jamison (unregistered) on October 29th, 2004 @ 7:46 am

    The story only talks about the sponsored wifi hot spots, and under that model, there’s really no incentive for the sponsors to pay for service in area’s where they won’t have a large target audience (unless they were allowed to plaster their brand name all over something) There is a free wireless network running throughout the city already, SF LAN. I’ve used one of their nodes at the Burning Man office and had no trouble. For $1000 you can get a node and have it installed in your building, from there you can string access points off of it to expand your range.

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