techie: free wifi in the city

San Francisco, CA -   Visitors with a wireless-enabled laptop computer, or other wireless device, and a web browser can access the Internet anywhere in the Union Square public park area. The service uses widely available "wireless fidelity" or "wi-fi" technology.

"I am very pleased to launch this service in Union Square," said Mayor Newsom. "San Francisco is one of the most technically-savvy, connected cities in the world. I believe technology can improve the lives of all citizens, especially through the tremendous amount of information available on the Internet," Newsom continued, "Now, even more citizens have convenient, free access to that information in one of San Francisco's vibrant public areas."

San Francisco offers the service on a test basis in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Department of Telecommunications (DTIS) and Information Services, the Recreation and Parks Department, UnwireNow, a San Francisco wireless service provider, and Terabeam Wireless, a world leader in providing extended range, license-free wireless data equipment.

The service will encourage more visitors to the Union Square area and demonstrate how wireless broadband technologies can support economic development and increased public access to high-speed Internet service. Starting with this pilot project, the Mayor's Office has directed DTIS to work with city departments to develop a citywide wireless broadband policy and explore other opportunities to use wireless broadband services throughout San Francisco.

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