Testing the new public #SFWiFi with PathTest
by October 20, 2014

Filed under: Networking Technology, Performance Monitoring

The City of San Francisco recently launched free #SFWiFi service in 32 of the city’s public spaces thanks to a grant from Google. Coincidentally, the day it launched, I made a move from Boston to San Francisco and found a handful of these spaces to be close to my new neighborhood.

I set out with my trusty iPhone 5 and the PathTest app loaded, ready to see if “the average baseline performance at the public spaces was 10-15 megabits per second download and 7-10 Mbps upload. However, The City did say some locations are seeing download speeds as high as 30 Mbps” (San Francisco Examiner) statement was accurate.

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Next stop was Portsmouth Square, just off Stockton St. I had a smaller sample size here from a testing perspective; however, the completed test was at the top end of the stated speeds. The southeast corner of the park showed 13.12Mbps up and 31.20Mbps down.

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Finally, I went over to Sue Bierman Park along the Embarcadero. I actually had some issues connecting to the #SFWiFi SSID at first. I started by walking around the inner portion of the park, and was experiencing not only the issues connecting, but also when I did, I saw very slow rates. The average up was 3.35Mbps and down was 5.22Mbps. The max for both was 8.54Mpps up and 15.16Mbps down. This was achieved next to the building on the corner of Drumm and Washington.

I was a little baffled by the poor connectivity and low throughput in the park at first. I then realized the park spread across the street. Once I crossed Drumm St., I had instant connectivity and found that the best throughput was next to the playground, at 1.18Mbps up and 29.89Mbps down. The average for that side of the park was .53Mbps up and 16.03Mbps down.

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MapI will continue to test the cities #SFWifi at the other 29 public spaces, but if you get to one before me and would like to test, you can find additional information and download the app here.

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