Support Mayor Newsom and Bring Free Google Wi-Fi Service to the City of San Francisco Now!

Soliciting Support for Free Wi-Fi in San FranciscoWell I’ve posted on my disgust with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the past over their bungling of the free wi-fi initiative in San Francisco, but wanted to revisit it as a vote is upcoming on it and hopefully the voters of San Francisco can talk some sense into these Luddites.

Mayor Gavin Newsom is making the rounds trying to drum up support for the Cities’ free wi-fi initiative and I have to say I’m behind him 100% on this one. Gavin recently gave an interview to the San Francisco Chronicle entitled “Don’t Let Politics Kill Off Wireless Plan,” in support of the wi-fi plan.

“This is too big of an idea,” Newsom said when asked about the political chances of the deal. “I wouldn’t want to reject this.”

Responding to Supervisors’ Budget Idiot Harvey Rose’s suggestion that the City might run a wi-fi or deal with a non-profit partner as an alternative Newsome was clear:

“I’m not going to take $10 million from poor people to pay for something that a private company has offered to pay for,” he added, suggesting money for a system owned or part-owned by city government would take money from social programs.”

The city of San Francisco, a bunch of bureaucrats, are the *last* people in the world you want running your wi-fi network. It boggles my mind that when you have Google and Earthlink stepping up, two companies with significant experience at running wi-fi networks, two companies who already went through a rigorous competitive bidding process in order to build the system FOR FREE for the City of San Francisco, that you have a bunch of political posturing by the crazies of San Francisco politics to stop this.

Trust me. If you leave building this network up to city bureaucrats, they will spend three times as much money doing it and we won’t have service for at least five years. It will be full of pork and special interest and back room political deals and in the meantime we will all suffer through having to wait.

I’ll tell you what I love. I love pulling my laptop out at Union Square today (one of the Cities’ free hot spots run by Google) and for free logging on and using the network. I LOVE wi-fi. I’ll tell you what I hate. I hate the wi-fi in the Ferry Building administered by some other City chosen group that is never up, always down, slow and never working.

Google is good at this stuff. Earthlink is good at this stuff. Let’s let them do their thing.

Originally when Mayor Newsom introduced the idea of free wi-fi, the hope was that it could be implemented this year. And it still can be. But if the city has to scrap all the work that’s already been done to start over then we will be waiting much, much longer for our free wi-fi. Both the Examiner and the Chronicle have written editorials in support of leaving the building of this wi-fi to the private sector.

Do you want your free wi-fi in San Francisco sooner rather than later? Then here’s my suggestion, call up these jackasses at the Board of Supervisors on the phone and let them know this. Here’s a link to their names and phone numbers. Tell them to quit the political posturing and BS and to support Mayor Newsom’s Google/Earthlink deal and to get wi-fi up and running in San Francisco NOW.

Free wi-fi in San Francisco will be good for us who live and work here every day. It will be good for our tourism industry with more people seeing San Francisco as a desirable place to go when they can get wi-fi for free. It’s good for poor people who today can’t afford internet access. It’s good for home values. It’s great for commuters as they come to and from their jobs in San Francisco. And Google and Earthlink have agreed to build it for free!

Some people have objected to the plan by saying that the speeds are too slow on the Google free service at 300 kbps. But you know what? I just tested my connection speed on this EVDO card that I’m using and it’s just about 300 kbps and for that I’m paying $80 a month to Verizon. And Earthlink’s offer to sell 1Mbps for $20 a month for faster service? Totally fair. Much less than people are paying today. How about this Board of Supervisors. How about I send you my Verizon bill each month for the 5 years that it will take you to get this thing built?

I hate it when politics gets in the way of progress. Support the Mayor and lobby the idiots on the Board of Supervisors to stop the madness and give us the wi-fi that we deserve. Instead of being a laughing stock of the rest of the country San Francisco has an opportunity here to step up and be one of the first U.S. Cities with free wi-fi, an innovator, an example, a beacon for progress, technology and innovation.

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One Comment

  1. By the time the City council ever gets around to approving WiFi, it will already be obsolete. They are responsible for their terrible deal with Comcast and should atone for it by offering their residents a more affordable choice. On the bright side of things, at least Atlanta ia getting WiFi put in, hopefully their politicians are a little more reasonable then the power hungry goons that are running my city council.

    http://spaceygreview.blogspot.com/2007/01/about-time.html