When SMC Public WiFi was launched two years ago, the goal was to address the significant digital divide between those with high speed Internet access and those with slow speed or no access. This infrastructure was meant to serve the goal of all residents having equal access to online resources which are critical to supporting our shared vision of a healthy, safe, prosperous, livable, environmentally conscious, and collaborative community.

When a user logs in to the San Mateo County Public WiFi system, they are presented with a poll that asks the user to "Tell us how this service benefits you and your community. Select all that apply." Users can choose from (a) Easy access to County services, (b) Educational opportunities, (c) Good for local business, or (d) Service for those with limited Internet access.

In November, the County of San Mateo launched Primer, a new look for dataset landing pages on the County’s Open Data PortalFrom inception through November 14, 2016, the data shows that users are finding value with SMC Public WiFi across all four of these areas. With over 40,000 responses the percentage of users who claimed the following benefits include:

  • Easy access to County services - 34%
  • Educational opportunities - 35%
  • Good for local business - 32%
  • Service for those with limited Internet access - 49%

Users can select more than one benefit, which is why the total adds up to more than 100%. Almost half of all users believe that SMC Public WiFi provides a service for those with limited internet access.

If you wish to view the complete data set, the landing page for the SMC Public WiFi poll results can be found here: https://data.smcgov.org/Government/Public-Wifi-Poll-Results/r698-f77b. For more information on SMC Public WiFi, including the location of access points, please visit http://www.smcgov.org/wifi.