Is the city of San Francisco finally going to get that
long-awaited wireless Internet? It has been talked about quite a bit over
the past few months, but residents and visitors of the city have not seen anything
definite. During an election
that will take place in November, San Francisco residents will finally get
their say as to whether or not the city gets free WiFi access.
To accompany the free WiFi service, a ~$20 paid service will offer Internet
browsing speeds up to four times faster than what the average schmuck will
hopefully one day be able to use.
San Francisco techies have petitioned and campaigned for citywide WiFi for
years, with lots of promises that haven't truly amounted to anything.
Openly supported by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom for the first time in
2004, the interesting
tandem of Google and EarthLink was chosen to provide the wireless
Internet. Now, however, people in the City are still waiting for the
Internet service to come around - and it is quite possible the service may never
A number of reasons have been given as to why this is taking so long -- privacy
issues, Internet browsing speeds and contractual issues are just a few.
Even though voter approval in November wouldn't guarantee 100 percent that the
network system would be built, the extra pressure on the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors will fold under the building pressure. However, the board has
a meeting in September, so it's possible the whole thing can be rejected before
it gets in the hands of the voters.
As someone who visits San Francisco at least once or twice per week, I am very
much looking forward to using WiFi while sitting near the waterfront. For
people already visiting the Bay Area, finding Internet in San Francisco is far
from difficult - walk a couple of blocks and you should be able to find an open
connection. But having a reliable and consistent connection will be