Public Space Improvement of the Day: Free WiFi for San Francisco's Parks

Google is donating $600,000 to the city, moving it one step closer to free internet for all.

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Dolores Park in San Francisco (Peter Kaminski/Flickr)

What can you buy with $600,000? Apparently, WiFi for a whole lot of public parks in San Francisco. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, city officials will use a $600,000 gift from Google to add free internet to 31 public parks for at least two years.

The project must get approval from the city’s Planning Department as well as the Recreation and Parks Commission, but installation is anticipated to take place between November of this year and April 2014.

Despite San Francisco being a major tech hub, the city is actually behind New York City and Paris in offering free WiFi in public parks. Government officials are most excited about the project’s potential as an "equalizer" for those who may not have internet at home.

Veronica Bell, a senior manager for public policy and government relations at Google, said in a statement, "We hope that free Wi-Fi will be a resource that the city and other local groups will be able to use in their efforts to bridge the digital divide and make their community stronger.”

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