The City has rolled out the long-anticipated free Wi-Fi service we posted about back in June starting at Castro Street and spanning Market Street all the way to downtown.
"A quarter of a million people traverse Market Street every day, from all walks of life," Mayor Ed Lee said of the new Wi-Fi service. "Now they can access information, find out when their next bus is coming, or peruse local job listings, all for free. This is a significant first step in my vision of connectivity for our city."The original plan between the City and AT&T fell apart leaving the Mayor and the SF Technology Department to come up with an alternative. It cost the City bout $500K and was accomplished with the generous donations from two companies: Ruckus Wireless of Sunnyvale who donated the hardware and Layer42 Networks of Mountain View who ponied up 1 gigabit of Internet access service to allow the network to reach the public Internet. Former Mayor Gavin Newsom --now CA. Lt. Gov-- promised free WiFi Citywide in 2007. This first limited move could be looked at as part of an ongoing installment plan toward accomplishing that lofty goal. Soon citizens will be able to access free WiFi in 31 SF parks (thanks to Google) while SFO, public housing developments, and parts of City Hall already offer it. We did a quick speed test of the public WiFi network here in the Castro and it is FAST (that may change as more people login). For the tech nerds it's about 38Mbps down and 15Mbps up with a 5ms ping time. Learn how to connect to "_San_Francisco_Free_WiFi" . via SF Gate