San Francisco's Market Street to Get Free Public Wi-Fi

The system should be up and running by early next year.

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    Free wireless Internet is coming to San Francisco's Market Street.

    The public Wi-Fi system should be functional along Market from the Castro to the Ferry building by the end of March, according to SFGate.

    "We want anybody walking up and down the street, sitting in the park or having a cup of coffee, to be able to hop onto the network and use it," said San Francisco's acting Chief Information Officer Jon Walton.

    There have actually been quite a few free hot spots popping up around the city, mostly near places such as parks and libraries. But this stretch of Market is a major commercial area much larger than those small patches installed by the Department of Technology and other agencies.

    San Francisco almost got city-wide Wi-Fi in 2007, but then EarthLink backed out of a deal with Google and it never happened.

    Union Square, parts of Golden Gate Park and Mission Street are also on the city's wireless to-do list.

    "Free public Wi-Fi is an idea that will happen," Walton said. "It's a question of when, not if."