Why is the County of San Mateo installing free public WiFi spots?

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.

Where is WiFi available?

As of April 2018, SMC Public WiFi is available at 72 locations around the County. In addition the access provided at 40 County facilities, there are 30 additional locations:

  • Bayshore Community Center, Daly City
  • Broadmoor Community Center, Daly City
  • Coastside Hope, El Granada
  • Colma Community Center
  • Coyote Point Captain's House, San Mateo
  • Coyote Point Gatehouse, San Mateo
  • Coyote Point Marina, San Mateo
  • Cuesta La Honda Recreation Center
  • Daly City Community Services Center, Daly City
  • David E. Lewis Reentry Center, E. Palo Alto
  • El Concilio Latino Support Center, Burlingame
  • Fair Oaks Community Center, Redwood City
  • Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Moss Beach
  • HSA Fair Oaks School, Redwood City
  • Lincoln Community Center, Daly City
  • Memorial Park, Loma Mar
  • Pescadero (downtown)
  • Pillar Ridge Community Center, Moss Beach
  • Portola Community Center, Portola Valley
  • Puente de la Costa Sur, La Honda
  • Puente de la Costa Sur, Pescadero
  • Ryder Park Ranger Station, San Mateo
  • San Mateo County Board of Supervisor Chambers, Redwood City
  • San Pedro Valley Park, Pacifica
  • Siena Youth Center, Redwood City
  • Star Vista / Daybreak Shelter, Redwood City
  • Sterling Youth Center, Colma
  • Streetcode Academy, East Palo Alto
  • War Memorial Community Center, Daly City
  • YMCA Community Resource Center, South San Francisco

 

How were these WiFi locations chosen?

Locations were chosen based on community feedback, discussions with San Mateo County Supervisors and County leaders, and input from community organizations. In addition to choosing sites that were technically feasible, site selection included one or more of the following criteria: (a) servicing unserved or underserved communities with limited Internet access, (b) supporting educational opportunities, (c) spurring local economic development, and (d) providing greater access to County services.

How do I connect to a public WiFi spot?

From any device WiFi-enabled device (laptop, tablet, phone, watch, etc.), please go to your WiFi settings and select the SMC Public WiFi access point. No password is needed.

How fast is the connection?

The WiFi access points currently support a shared 100 Mbps connection among those devices connected to it at any given time. Each device is limited to 3 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload.

Am I limited to only connecting the County website and resources?

No! Although you will be taken to the County WiFi page upon first connecting, you are free to browse any website you wish and use any resource on the Internet. You will be required to agree to the County’s Acceptable Use Policy that will remind you must use the WiFi access point for only legal purposes. Naturally, you will also be able to visit the website of the County or any of its departments.

Are my data and connection secure?

Connections to SMC Public WiFi spots have the same level of security as any public connection like those at restaurants or coffee shops. As with any publicly accessible WiFi connection, users are advised against transmitting highly sensitive data such as financial information.