San Francisco mucks up free Wi-Fi project
Thought that Google's going to blanket San Francisco with free Wi-Fi any day now? Think again.
San Francisco resident and tech enthusiast "Davis Freeberg" - the nom de blogue of a local investment advisor - has detailed the woes Google and its partner EarthLink have faced in getting permission to roll out a free, citywide Wi-Fi network. The city's infamous politics, Freeberg writes, look ready to sandbag the project, with the Wi-Fi network's backers "discovering that dealing with the local San Francisco political scene is about as fun as being set up on a blind date with Mike Tyson after being rubbed down in meat sauce."
Freeberg attended a "town hall" meeting where a parade of local eccentrics laid out their conditions before Google would be permitted to give the residents of the city free Internet access:
"Some of the crazier demands that were suggested at the meeting included a 'requirement' for every San Francisco renter to sign a lease addendum with their landlords before being allowed to install a WiFi card in their PC, forcing Google to agree to transport kids back and forth to the Zoo in their Google busses and a requirement for EarthLink to pay the electrical costs for running computers in order to prevent brownouts."
The Browser would understand if Google decided to pack up its routers and go home to Mountain View, where residents are asking for technical help with connecting to the network, not a set of loony-tunes demands. But Freeberg reports that Google executive Chris Sacca bravely soldiered through the meeting, deflecting technically impossible or financially punitive requests with grace and patience. Luckily for the City by the Bay, Google is soldiering on. Freeberg does have one suggestion: Next month vote out the supervisors who allowed this humilating charade to take place. Hear, hear.
I agree that San Francisco politics is looney and drives businesses away. I used to live there and noticed there was a vocal lobby made up of non-working "parasites" who believed in mooching off businesses. They never worked, but just collected government checks and railed against successful companies like Google.
I hope Google does soilder on as you put it and we do get a free wi-fi network. Shame on the city council. Instead of offering thanks to such a generous offer, they are looking to make Google look bad if they don't give in to their demands. Shameful. Vote them out!
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