It was almost eight years ago when Google (s goog) toyed with the idea of launching free Wi-Fi in San Francisco public spaces. Google’s radical idea — championed by angel investor Chris Sacca, who at that time was a Google employee — came under criticism and even cellular pioneer Marty Cooper worried about its cost. For political reasons, that deal fell through. Google moved on, offered free Wi-Fi in other cities, started building fiber networks and also launched balloon-based broadband.
It seems we have come a full circle. The company is finally ready to launch free (rather, Google ad-supported) Wi-Fi networks in at least 31 parks in San Francisco. These parks include iconic locations such as the Mission Dolores Park and Alamo Square. The need for Wi-Fi networks has escalated since the launch of the iPhone. Wi-Fi has become crucial part of our state of connectedness.
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