San Diego Expands Public Wi-Fi Program to Close Digital Divide

The city of San Diego, Calif., announced that it has added more than 300 new locations to its public Wi-Fi program, dubbed “SD Access 4 All.” In addition to providing free Wi-Fi across the city, San Diego has also purchased hundreds of new laptops and 900 new mobile hotspots that residents can check out from city libraries.

“This major expansion of free Wi-Fi across our city is about equity and ensuring every San Diegan has a chance to succeed,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “Far too many San Diegans have been held back because they have no internet access. This is a first step toward righting that wrong by providing free Wi-Fi at hundreds of locations as well as providing new tools at libraries – from laptops to mobile hotspots – to help residents get connected.”

The SD Access 4 All website provides details on the program’s offerings, including an interactive map that San Diegans can use to find a free Wi-Fi location nearby. The Mayor’s office said locations include libraries, parks, and recreation centers, among other locations. The city also noted that the Wi-Fi works outdoors at every location, so there’s no need to enter any facility to access the Wi-Fi.

The program received $500,000 in city funding under the current fiscal year. With that funding, the city said the SD Access 4 All program has provided:

  • Free Wi-Fi at more than 300 locations, including dozens of libraries and Parks and Recreation facilities, and 255 street locations.
  • Outdoor community labs with free Wi-Fi, tables, and chairs at 10 libraries.
  • Hundreds of new laptops to check out from libraries for up to two hours at a time.
  • 900 new mobile hotspots that patrons can check out for up to 30 days from select libraries.
Kate Polit
About Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs