San Francisco

San Francisco31 San Francisco playgrounds, plazas, recreation centers, and parks are getting two years of free Wi-Fi thanks to a $600,000 gift from Google with no strings attached, Mayor Ed Lee announced on Wednesday. Pending approvals, installations could start in November and be done by April 2014. The gift is designed to empower citizens and community groups, and serve as a pilot for city-wide free Wi-Fi. Six years ago, San Francisco, EarthLink, and Google tried to set up a Wi-Fi network for the whole city, but Mayor Gavin Newsom, the Board of Supervisors, and the companies couldn’t agree on a contract. The program was derailed partly because of public and officials’ fears that these tech companies would profit. The initiative announced in conjunction with SF’s Department Of Technology and Ron Conway’s includes no plan for Google to make money.

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

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