City of San Leandro, CA: “SL Wi-Fiber”

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City of San Leandro, CA: “SL Wi-Fiber”
City of San Leandro.jpg
City of San Leandro
Team Organizations Crosslink Networks
San Leandro CA
Team Leaders Anton Batalla
Participating Municipalities San Leandro CA
Sectors Wireless
Status Launched
Last Updated April 21, 2024

Summary

Since the creation of Lit San Leandro – a public-private partnership that yielded an 18mile, fiber optic loop – installing a free, Public Wi-Fi system in the city’s downtown core had been one of the City Council’s long-standing goals. The System (Design and Architecture): The city did not own any facilities in the downtown core and there were no commercial buildings with direct access to the Fiber loop. However, City Staff determined that the ideal location for a system was on an historic 50-foot sign in the Pelton Plaza shopping center in the center of downtown. Additional mesh access points could be deployed on the city’s decorative street lamps. This innovative design would achieve a blazing fast network, utilizing both commercial downtown buildings and the city’s own infrastructure.

To achieve this, the city formed a second public-private partnership with the commercial property owners of the Pelton Plaza to gain exclusive access to the sign in exchange for building and managing a Wi-Fi system on the property. The historic sign was connected directly to the city’s fiber loop and mesh access points were deployed around the area. “SL Wi-Fiber” was born.

Impact and Quality: The downtown Wi-Fi system was deployed primarily as a tool for economic development. It is now a downtown attraction, activating previously unused outdoor space, and provides patrons of local businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, with a great amenity: free, Public Wi-Fi. In addition, expansion of the system to the city’s community centers and libraries has provided gigabit internet access to people in the community who lack broadband at home. Lastly, one of the San Leandro City Council’s stated goals is to transform the city into an innovation hub in the SF East Bay. The downtown Wi-Fi system has worked toward this goal by the helping the city cultivate an image as a welcoming center for technology and innovation. The project received extensive media coverage.

San Leandro Fiber Optic Master Plan