San Mateo County Public WiFi

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San Mateo County Public WiFi
SanMateoWiFi.jpg
San Mateo County Public WiFi
Team Organizations SMC Public WiFi
Team Leaders Ulysses Vinson
Participating Municipalities San Mateo CA
Sectors Wireless
Status Launched
Last Updated November 29, 2022

Summary

We live in the heart of Silicon Valley, but even in San Mateo County we have a significant digital divide between those with high speed Internet access and those with slow speed or no access. The County believes that providing high speed Internet access is the 21st century equivalent to building roads. Providing the infrastructure so that all residents have equal access to online resources is critical to supporting our shared vision of a healthy, safe, prosperous, livable, environmentally conscious, and collaborative community. In 2014, the County of San Mateo launched its SMC Public WiFi program to help build out this infrastructure and provide these modern on ramps to the resources available online. In addition to servicing unserved and underserved communities, SMC Public WiFi supports educational opportunities for students, spurs local economic development, and provides greater access to County services. We invite you to learn more about the program and provide us with feedback.

The remote town of Pescadero in San Mateo, CA has a population of 600 people, mostly made up of migrant farm workers. San Mateo County deployed Public Wi-Fi in this rural community bringing high-speed internet access to many who previously did not have it. The town is often impacted by floods during heavy rain storms and typically the area experiences multiple communication systems and utility power systems failures in these events. However, in 2017 the County’s Public Wi-Fi system stayed online throughout a major storm and flood and allowed the township people to utilize their mobile devices for emergency communications, including contacting public safety services, posting social media statuses, and staying in contact with their friends and family. The W-Fi system is also providing economic and education benefits to residents by closing the digital divide.