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Friday, July 31, 2009

Show Us the Money... Please? City Officials Prep for Schmoozefest with FCC Chair at Mission Housing Project.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2009 at 4:59 PM

What's that? Scoma's? Just up ahead on your right.
  • What's that? Scoma's? Just up ahead on your right.
San Franciscans looking for one more reason to preen can always flaunt the fact that they live in one of the most tech-savvy cities in the world. Online video archives of City Hall meetings? Check. Twitter-happy mayoral staff? Check. Animatronic dinosaurs that dispense friendly advice and directions to tourists along the Embarcadero? Not yet, but a guy can hope.

But when it comes to sucking at the federal teat, no amount of digital prowess is too much. So it is that city officials are preparing to woo newly confirmed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on his upcoming visit to the city, in an effort to snare what San Francisco Department of Technology Media Director Ron Vincent said he hopes could be "millions" of dollars in federal stimulus money for increasing access to broadband Internet.

Genachowski is slated to visit the Valencia Gardens housing project in the Mission District on Sunday, where city officials are going to treat him to a presentation on what they've done -- and still hope to do -- to expand broadband here. Vincent said that, San Francisco's status as high-tech hub notwithstanding, there are many neighborhoods that still lack high-speed Internet access, such as Bayview, Hunters Point, parts of the Mission, and parts of Chinatown.

"We do see a high percentage that don't have access to broadband

technology," Vincent said. He added the city could use federal stimulus

dollars to run fiber-optic cable lines into underserved areas, though

fiber is expensive and the city's exact approach to broadening its

network hasn't been set in stone yet.

We'll keep waiting for the day when federal grants are available for an

affable robotic triceratops. If only Dennis Kucinich had made it

through the primaries...

Photo   |   Jim Linwood

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