San Francisco launches affordable wireless initiative

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday formally launched the city's bid to establish affordable, perhaps even free, citywide wireless service within the next year.

According to a request for comment and information, the city government will collect the best ideas for how to achieve its goal of a universal wireless broadband network that is cost-effective and that will provide access for citizens, particularly low-income residents, and businesses.

The network, which could cost anywhere between $10 million and $18 million, is also aimed at providing connectivity for city employees and the police and fire departments. However, the city is making no financial commitments at this time.

Newsom has come under fire recently for his perceived inaction on the initiative, dubbed TechConnect, following his state of the city address last October when he said the government "will not stop" until every resident of San Francisco had access to free wireless internet service.

"No San Franciscan should be without a computer and a broadband connection," he said then.

TechConnect plans also include providing affordable hardware, training programs and on-line content "to make sure that all San Franciscans can use their broadband access to the fullest," according to background documents on the initiative.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.


  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.