Google (GOOG) has agreed to fund an initiative that would allow San Francisco to join the echelon of cities, including New York and Paris, which provide free WiFi in their public parks, the AP reports.
The company offered a $600,000 grant to help bring WiFi to 31 San Francisco parks and public spaces.
The project, the brainchild of San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell, also has a major backer in the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation, which has partnered with the San Francisco Department of Technology to build and maintain the necessary network.
Google has a history of providing places with free WiFi, usually to cities or communities with a Google affiliation. Mountain View, Calif., the home of Google’s main headquarters, for instance, is one of the lucky recipients of Google’s network generosity. Google also provides free WiFi to a number of towns with Google data servers, and announced plans this year that it would help provide WiFi to a ten-block area surrounding its offices in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood.
For the deal to go forward, it needs approval from the San Francisco planning department, parks commission, and board of supervisors. But the initiative already has the support of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and Farrell is optimistic that the city’s parks could have WiFi by early 2014.