Google Gifts 31 San Francisco Parks Two Years of Free Wi-Fi Service Worth $600,000

Paul Lilly

No strings attached

Google catches a lot of flak over privacy issues for its various services, but at the same time, the company knows how to create some goodwill for itself, too. Apparently in a giving mood as of late, Google is footing the $600,000 bill to bring free Wi-Fi hotspots to at least 31 city parks , plazas, and open spaces across San Francisco. The installation of free Wi-Fi service will kick off in December 2013 and is expected to be complete by Spring 2014.

The donation comes six years after a deal to cover the city in free Wi-Fi fell through. Google and EarthLink had wanted to blanket San Francisco with Wi-Fi service, but they were unable to come to an agreement with Mayor Gavin Newsom and the Board of Supervisors.

This time around, Google is content to cut a check to cover the costs of the equipment, installation, and maintenance of wireless capabilities for two years, SFGate reports . Google doesn't stand to make any money off the deal, and after two years, it will be up to San Francisco to fund the continuation of free Wi-Fi service.

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