Free internet access to residents living in affordable housing.

Closing the Digital Divide

Wi-Fi Since 2014

In 2014, the Department of Technology began providing free Wi-Fi along the Market Street corridor, in the Civic Center, and select Rec and Park properties.

Since that time, more high-speed Wi-Fi has become prevalent all across the City and County of San Francisco.

Where?

#SFWiFi is currently available along three miles of Market Street and 33 parks, plazas, and open spaces. #SFWiFi is also available in all branches of the San Francisco Public Library and seven San Francisco Muni stations: Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell, Civic Center, Van Ness, Church, and Castro.

#SFWiFi Today

Currently, as part of the Fiber to Housing program, the Department of Technology has expanded #SFWiFi to provide free wi-fi to select affordable housing locations in San Francisco at download speeds ranging from 60-120 mbps. How to connect

In this video

Learn how DT first brought free Wi-Fi to downtown San Francisco in this video from SFGovTV!

Transcript:

Mayor Ed Lee:
Well, we're the innovation capital of the world, and I can't think of another project any better than having Wi-Fi connectivity in our city for everybody — and it cuts costs across different economic lines, different neighborhoods — and it helps, not only young people with their education, but for regular folks to find out where their muni bus is, or where their favorite restaurant is, or how to get educational opportunities in the city.

It was led by the Department of Technology, so they're
really, really proving themselves to want to take on such a great responsibility as our market street is one of the busiest corridors in the city. I want to thank the department of technology for that, but they found some great private partners in the form of Ruckus Wireless—out of the valley— that, along with Layer 42, both of them gave us some very expensive equipment to use but also gave us some great guidance as to how to do it in a sustained way, and so that combination of the public-private partnership was another compliment of how our Department of Technology is working— how a government should work with the private sector and particularly on technology to do these sorts of exciting things and it complements all the other things that we're trying to do to use technology in the positive way. 

Selina Lo:
San Francisco is one one of the greatest cities in the world, and it certainly gives Ruckus a lot of credibility to be able to support a service that works for San Francisco. 

Wi-Fi will become like a utility just like power and water, and as such it has to be pervasive. It will be available, I think it over time in all the public venues. 

Oakland Resident Visiting SF:
Actually, I live in Oakland, but I'm here on Market Street a whole lot, and I'm not really very familiar with the area, especially this part of market street. So being able to just use my smartphone and being able to navigate around, it's really, really helpful, and I appreciate the fact that the city is actually doing its civic duty and providing a connection for everybody, so thank you to the city. 

Joseph Molinari of DT:
There was a huge manpower effort. There were three different shops and crews involved in this. It was the overhead line crew doing all the overhead work. There was the underground cable crew pulling all the fiber optics and the network cable. And there was a radio shop doing all the connectorization, turn-on, and troubleshooting. Each one of those shops put in at least three months worth of man-hours times six or eight people on each shop. There were no real issues with the AP's, which are the access points for the system, and they really amount to basically a very sophisticated antenna. They're what broadcasts a signal out to the street that people can pick up on their mobile devices. 

Mayor Ed Lee:
We can use a public-private partnership to hit up the other major corridors. I'm looking at corridors across the city where people traverse, where there's a huge amount of small businesses, neighborhood groups, transit corridors, where there's housing for everybody. And they just want to get online with their education hopes, or connecting with their friends, or just looking for a job. I think we have a lot of people around the city whether they're veterans or others that they're not just on Market Street, they're all over the city, and they just want that connectivity. 

Joseph Molinari:
Market Street's very old. The conduits systems are very old, and Market Street has been dug up several times since they've been installed. You had to deal with damaged conduits. We did have to run some links between conduits systems, to link conduits system so we could get the routes we needed to pull the fiber, and just 3.1 miles of fibers is a lot of fiber to
pull in three months. So, another issue was just actually getting the fiber to our shop, procuring it, getting it on the job. 

San Francisco Resident:
We paid a good amount of taxes in San Francisco. It seems like to ease the burden— if we all had access to Wi-Fi more or less when we're in the city center— we wouldn't have to pay such egregious cellphone bills, and people's efficiency is broken down into when they can connect to the internet. I don't know, it's silly. Why not? 

Mayor Ed Lee:
Free internet and free Wi-Fi is a way forward for all of the challenginf divisions of our cities across the country, not just for San Francisco. Oakland, San Jose, Chicago, Philadelphia — we're all saying the same thing. We want our families, our kids —particularly from backgrounds where there used to be a digital divide— to be connected up so that people can look for jobs or gain the skill sets that they want for the 21st century. It's all about the future of our city and making sure we take care of the hundred percent.

View transcript

Fiber to Housing

Locations with wired ethernet connections

Locations with wired ethernet connections

These housing locations have free Internet delivered through fiber-optic and Ethernet cabling in every housing unit. A Wi-Fi router is needed to use this service. If you have your own Wi-Fi router, simply plug it in to the Ethernet wall jack in your unit and begin enjoying free Internet. If you need a Wi-Fi router, please contact your onsite staff to sign up to receive one. 

  1. Eddy & Taylor: 222 Taylor St.
  2. Alemany: 544 Alemany Blvd.
  3. Bernal Dwellings: 3138 Kamille Ct.
  4. Hayes Valley South: 401 Rose St.
  5. Holly Courts: 100 Appleton Ave.
  6. Hunters Point East: 788 Kirkwood Ave.
  7. Hunters Point West: 1105 Oakdale Ave.
  8. Mission Dolores: 1855 Fifteenth St.
  9. Mission Terrace: 3850 Eighteenth St.
  10. Mosaica (Senior): 655 Alabama St.
  11. Mosaica Family: 680 Florida St.
  12. Ping Yuen North: 838 Pacific Ave.
  13. Potrero Block X: 1845 25th St.
  14. Robert B. Pitts: 1150 Scott St.
  15. Casa Adelante: 1296 Shotwell St.
  16. Casala Apartments: 1477 Sunnydale Ave.
  17.  Westbrook: 90 Kiska Rd.
  18.  Westside Courts: 2501 Sutter St.
  19. Willie B Kennedy: 1239 Turk St.

Locations with open Wi-Fi

Locations with open Wi-Fi

These housing locations have free Internet delivered through an open Wi-Fi network on the property. For instructions on how to access the Wi-Fi, please contact onsite staff.

  1. Ellis Gardens: ​350 Ellis St.
  2. 363 Noe St:  363 Noe St.
  3. Antonia Manor: 180 Turk St.
  4. Curran House: 145 Taylor St.
  5. Dalt Hotel: 34 Turk St.
  6. Franciscan Towers: 217 Eddy St.
  7. Hunters Point East: 788 Kirkwood Ave.
  8. Hunters Point West: 1105 Oakdale Ave.
  9. Kelly Cullen Community: 220 Golden Gate Ave.
  10. Mosaica (Senior): 655 Alabama St.
  11. Mosaica Family: 680 Florida St.
  12. Ritz Hotel: 216 Eddy St.
  13. Rosa Parks: 1251 Turk St.
  14. Sala Burton Manor: 430 Turk St.
  15. Star Hotel: 2176 Mission St.
  16. West Hotel: 141 Eddy St.
  17. Westbrook: 90 Kiska Rd.

If you are a resident living at one of the Fiber to Housing property locations and you would like assistance accessing the free internet service, please contact your onsite property management or resident services staff for help.

In this video

Hear from the team about Fiber to Housing work!

Transcript:

Title Card: Fiber to Housing

Kevin Kohmann, Fiber/Wireless Infrastructure Project Manager:
Digital literacy is something that is severely lacking in our world today, and it takes a lot to understand that — you know — food, water, and shelter have been basic necessities for so long that we forget about Wi-Fi. 

We forget about the connection to the internet, and when you go into these communities and you realize that people aren't even able to load into their homework, they can't talk to their teachers, and really are out of touch with the world around them. 

So by providing them this network and providing them this system, we're able to allow them to keep up in the Modern Age.

Brian Roberts, Policy Analyst Department of Technology:
Folks still were not served by internet throughout the city, and these tended to be low-income people people who lived in affordable housing. People of color, people with limited English, and seniors — all of those are in high concentrations in affordable housing, so we thought — given that we had a fiber network that stretched throughout the city reaching deep into neighborhoods — that would be a perfect opportunity to address the digital divide in San Francisco. 

Jontonette Clark, Clubhouse Director, Greater Visitacion Valley:
The infrastructure that the city installed helped us run our digital program. It played a critical role from the time we opened during COVID until now, so we were able to collaborate with online services that offer tutoring and intense just like school support. 

It also helped us be able to log the kids on for online schooling during COVID, in addition to like now that everybody has switched,
most of their curriculums to online, we can now log the kids onto their online homework, check their grades, in addition to helping parents learn how to use the school system portal. 

Reymon Lachaux, Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development:
So the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development's Office of Digital Equity— our goal and our role in Fiber To Housing
is to ensure that we have all three legs of the three-legged stool. The first leg, rightfully so, is high quality internet connection. We liken the high quality internet connection to the highway. The second leg, I would say, would be high quality devices. This is the car, right? You want to make sure that the specs on the car is up to speed, and lastly you know, it's important to to get kind of that driver's education to learn how to navigate the road and to know the signs to watch out for, in terms of making sure that you're secure while you're surfing the internet — that it's private. And so that's the digital digital literacy piece.

Nas Blaylock, Sunnydale Resident:
Just— in my daily life, I need the Internet just— to just to do pretty much everything. Um, the internet is taking so much control over people's daily lives, including myself, that I just needed— to just need it to get certain jobs done. I need— I need it for my life— I need it. 

Brian Roberts:
This program really seeks to, wherever possible, provide a service that's of equivalent or higher speed and quality as the best commercial service. 

Reymon Lachaux:
We serve all of San Francisco, but we definitely have to be equitable in our distribution of services. So what that means is everybody gets what they need to be successful. 

Brian Roberts:
It's actually one of the most gratifying parts of my work here at Department of Technology. It's really bringing City resources to address, you know, problems faced with our communities with the highest need. 

Evelyn Alvarado, Intern, Department of Technology:
I think it's important because I grew up in a low-income community, and I grew up without internet access, and it was really hard. So I think it's — it's important for everyone to have internet access no matter their income and, maybe one day, they're going to be — there's some kid is going to have internet access from us. It helps with school, helps learn new skills.

Closing Comments:
Fiber to Housing
The San Francisco Department of Technology continues to install and maintain free high-speed internet in communities and organizations throughout the city.

The Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development provides millions of dollars to community organizations who offer essential digital literacy training to residents.

End Card:
An SFGovTV Original Program
SFGovTV
Copyright 2023 The City and County of San Francisco

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About

Fiber to Housing is a collaboration between the City and County of San Francisco's Department of Technology and the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development. Fiber to Housing bridges the digital divide by bringing free high-speed Internet to residents in affordable housing.