SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco has finished installing free Wi-Fi in its public housing facilities as part of a citywide housing improvement initiative.

Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Housing Authority announced Tuesday that 33 developments are now equipped with wireless broadband.

Newsom says expanded Internet access will create job and educational opportunities and improve quality of life for residents.

The city has committed $95 million to overhauling infrastructure and upgrading services at its most distressed public housing facilities.

San Francisco has more than 6,500 public housing units serving very low-income families, seniors and disabled city residents.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report)

Comments (17)
  1. Mad Mike says:

    So let me get this straight–the city is millions in the red, looking at all ways imaginable to tax people on things, but they can provide free wi-fi to housing projects?

  2. Dawg says:

    Just another reason to steal a laptop, free Wi-Fi.

  3. John says:

    Define “its public housing facilities.” That’s really vague. I know of lots of public housing in SF that doesn’t have WiFi at all – free or otherwise.

  4. S. says:

    There aren’t even enough jobs for those of us who actually need them to pay rent…what is the mayor doing about that dilema?

  5. Billy says:

    Now they can post used cars on Craigslist just like they are doing in Oakland and rob you when you go pick it up. Thanks Mayor Fool!

  6. Don says:

    Since I actually work for a living, instead of depending on handouts from others, I have to pay for my own internet access. On the bright side, I suppose that while they’re cruising the internet for porn, at least they won’t be out committing crimes.

  7. Gary Steele says:

    Great, now you can go online to order up your crack.

  8. Zak says:

    Let me throw out some points. First, despite what some may think, Public Housing doesn’t equate to ‘unemployed’ There are many low-income earners, who work full time, who are in Public Housing. There will always be, those honest working folks, who only make $25,000 or so a year; they are all over America, and I think we do a disservice to them when we try to marginalize them as being unproductive if they happen to be eligible for low-income housing. Now, that said, we need to really identify what the Mayor means by Public Housing. There are many lofts, rentals, condos, etc. that are under the City mandated “BMR – below market rate” requirement. Are we including these, or are we only taking about these? I ask, for I know that Free WiFi is not available at the Potrero HIll housing. Additionally, Public housing does not mean unemployed; the Mayor conveys that’s exactly what PH is. If that’s the case, then why do I know of 12 City employees who live in the Potrero HIll projects? I can support providing access, but those who really need it. If you’re working, have a cell phone, utilities, you can certainly afford WiFi, in light of most new smart phones are now HotSpots and you can piggy-back your computer onto it, like I do with my Droid X. The real issue is financing, how is this being paid for at a time when the next fiscal deficit for SF is $385 – $420 Mil.

  9. Brian Basinger says:

    Ummm. You believe in free libraries right? Sort of a foundational concept of democracy – free access to information and education. Sillies, the internet is just the 21st century version of the public library and should be free. The problem isn’t the people in this pilot project for free internet access for all. The problem is in your limited thinking. Instead of tearing others down, you should be lifting everyone up and adding your voices in support of expanding access for all.

    1. Sonja says:

      When I cannot afford internet, I do without or go to the LIBRARY to use it for FREE.

  10. Benjamin says:

    San Francisco was once teamed up with Earthlink, now the plan was created for Meraki.

  11. S. says:

    I earn less than 15k per year yet I manage to pay for my own internet and rent. Why can’t they?

  12. Ramz says:

    “Newsom says expanded Internet access will create job and educational opportunities and improve quality of life for residents.”

    Why is the “quality of life” of these people more important than the people who are paying the tax dollars that are going to this free WiFi? Give everyone free internet if that’s the case.

  13. Stoutcat says:

    Of course. Free libraries are a cornerstone of civilized society. And most of those free libraries were initially founded, funded, and supported by eeeevil capitalist philanthropers like Andrew Carnegie.

    But in order to use a free library, you actually have to get up off your fanny and GO to the library. You can read or check out books, read periodicals, do research, and even use the FREE computers that have FREE internet access. But YOU have to go THERE to do it.

    Bottom line: the FREE access is already there for any who choose to use it (although in this case, I expect “free” is in fact taxpayer-subsidized).

    So yes, here is my voice lifted in support of access for all. Which already exists — not just in San Francisco, but all around the country, believe it or not! — for those not too lazy to use it.

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