SJ to Get Free, 'Disturbingly Fast' WiFi

Downtown San Jose is about to become more wired.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A free WiFi signal is scheduled to blanket downtown San Jose beginning in the summer.

    Signal-seekers will love downtown San Jose, once the self-proclaimed "Capital of Silicon Valley" unveils its free public Wi-Fi network this summer.

    The long-awaited signal will go live in select blocks of the city's downtown sometime this summer, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Companies Ruckus Wireless and SmartWAVE Technologies paired up to make the city's existing signal stronger, available over a wider area, and suitable to handle data required by tablets and other bandwidth-hungry devices, according to the newspaper.

    "This will bring disturbingly fast internet access to Downtown, and is part of San Jose's strategy to partner with industry leaders who are committed to improving communities and furthering the Silicon Valley experience," San Jose's acting Chief Information Officeer Vijay Sammeta said in a release.

    Once active, the free WiFi will cover an area from East St. John Street to the north, portions of Balbach Street and Viola Avenue to the south, North Sixth Street to the east and Almaden Boulevard to the west, the newspaper reported. A small area near Diridon Station will also be covered.

    [A map of the covered area is here.]

    The signal's price tag is $100,000 up front, with a $22,000 bill annually for upkeep, the newspaper reported.

    City leaders and bureaucrats trumpeted the ability of "young workers" in "cafes" to do business via the network. So leave the mobile hotspot at home -- unless you plan on leaving downtown San Jose.