Google has made a rather generous gift of $600,000, spending the money to bring absolutely free Wi-Fi to some 31 locations in San Francisco. These locations include parks, recreation centers and playgrounds. Thanks to the search giant’s endeavor, people in these locations will be able to enjoy free internet access for up to two years.
San Francisco seems to be among Google’s major focus localities. In the past, the company attempted to bring free Wi-Fi for the entire city, but couldn’t strike a deal with the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors. Unfazed by this, Google is back with a similar deal, albeit on a limited scale.
The $600,000 that Google is pooling in will go into the purchase of the equipment, its installation as well as the maintenance of the network for the course of two years. After two years, the management of the network will be taken over by the authorities in San Francisco but the expenses will then be borne with the help of local tech companies and partners.
This is not the first of its kind initiative by Google. The company has provided similar, free Wi-Fi locations in a number of other U.S. cities including New York and Boston.
At the event announcing the setting up of free Wi-Fi networks in San Francisco, the city’s Mayor Ed Lee stated, “We are behind. I call us the innovation capital of the world but we need to catch up. This is where the relationship with the private sector is so important to us.” Lee went on to explain that the program will “Bridge not only the digital divide but bring the innovative spirit to every community in San Francisco.”
Such initiatives by Google are always a pleasure to behold. If only all major tech companies started undertaking such ventures meant for the good of the public, they can make a huge difference.