Internet Archive to fund super-high-speed Internet in public housing

Residents of San Francisco public housing units will be among the first to take advantage of 100 Mbps Internet access offered by the Internet Archive.

Living in public housing is nothing to write home about, and certainly nothing that offers lifestyle advantages over what most people fortunate enough to afford something more elaborate have.

But thanks to the Internet Archive, and its founder, Brewster Kahle, residents of one San Francisco public housing development may soon have something over everyone else, especially those who like high-speed Internet connections.

The Internet Archive says it will allow those who live at Valencia Gardens Housing in San Francisco's Mission district to access the Internet at 100 megabits per second. By contrast, my Comcast Internet service delivers 6Mbps via cable.

Those living in the 240 units of Valencia Gardens will be the first under a pilot program that will ultimately deliver the blazing-fast Internet to more than 2,500 San Francisco public housing units, the Internet Archive said.

It appears that the project will establish a direct link between the housing units and the Internet Archive itself, allowing residents to "instantly view DVD-quality videos of the thousands of lectures and other educational information from the Internet Archive's collections, as well as traditional Internet access."

The Internet Archive said it can offer the super-high speeds by "connecting the San Francisco municipal fiber optic network, which runs through the public housing developments, to an Archive switching center, which connects to the Internet."

Among other things, the Internet Archive has collected what is likely the largest archive of historical snapshots of the Internet, and also undertaken a massive public-domain book-scanning operation.