Foster City leads the pack in wireless Internet race

FOSTER CITY — Residents and visitors will soon be able to kick back by the waterfront while surfing the Internet.

Foster City will become the first in the county to launch citywide wireless Internet access anywhere within city limits when it holds its formal “wire-cutting” ceremony Oct. 16, according to Mayor Linda Koelling.

Mountain View-based MetroFi will provide the service, which it already operates in other Silicon Valley cities such as San Jose, Cupertino, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara. MetroFi is leasing transceiver space on 100 of Foster City’s light poles at a cost of $36 per pole per year, according to Foster City Administrative Services Director Steve Toler.

“We’re just delighted to see this coming to town,” Toler said.

MetroFi will offer speeds of up to 1 megabyte per second, and the service can be used outdoors on wireless devices, or indoors for residents who want to access the Internet from their desktop computers, according to Chuck Haas, CEO of MetroFi.

“Foster City is progressive in wanting to offer their residents and visitors wireless Internet access,” Haas said, explaining why his company chose to expand its offerings further north.

MetroFi approached the city about providing local wireless Internet access, a proposition the City Council approved in April. The company has not released any information about how many in Foster City are expected to use the new service, and city officials said they did not have that information.

In exchange for the free access, users will be shown a number of advertisements, according to Haas.

Foster City’s move comes well ahead of a regional plan to offer wireless Internet access from Daly City to Gilroy, or San Francisco’s own wi-fi system now in development. San Mateo County Telecommunications Authority officials announced in September that Metro Connect, a joint effort involving Azulstar, Cisco Systems and IBM, had been picked to operate the new regional service on the Peninsula.

bwinegarner@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocalPeninsula

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Charles Joseph, who is represented by the San Francisco Public Defender’s office, is facing deportation to Fiji. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Giving immigrants a second chance after incarceration

Legislation would allow some faced with deportation a chance to challenge their old convictions

The San Francisco Police Department released body camera footage of the alleged assault on Dacari Spiers. (Via SFPD Body Cam)
SF police officer to stand trial for assault over baton beating

A San Francisco police officer who prosecutors say unnecessarily beat a man… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed announced The City’s return to the red tier for COVID-19 precautions at Pier 39 on Tuesday<ins>, March 2, 2021</ins>. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
San Francisco enters red COVID tier, indoor dining to resume

Museums and gyms can reopen with capacity limits

Cole Odin Berggren, community programs director and drum and DJ instructor at Blue Bear School of Music in The City, holds a JackTrip device, which he says has greatly improved students’ experience of making music online. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
COVID-era musicians beginning to make connections

Software eliminates pesky delay plaguing most systems

Under the new plan, Twin Peaks Boulevard would be reserved exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists until Christmas Tree Point.	(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board approves new plan for Twin Peaks Boulevard

Cuts vehicle-free space by half. Neighbors say crime, vandalism will still abound

Most Read