WiFi in The Canal


Shared goal(s): Provide student access to learning technology


The new mesh WiFi network will address the digital inequity in the Canal by making it easier for students to participate in virtual learning and for Canal residents to access vital information and resources. Canal Alliance hopes the WiFi mesh network is the first step in a longer-term and more permanent solution to close the digital divide. Our goal is to build the foundation of a network with scalable infrastructure that allows us to expand the capacity to support the entire community.

Web site: https://canalalliance.org/wifi-in-the-canal/

Lead organization partners: County of Marin, San Rafael City Schools, the City of San Rafael, and Canal Alliance

Kinds of organization: Community-based Non-profit Organization, Government Entity, School/School District

Participant population: Individual Community Members, Youth (Ages 14-17 or Grades 9-12), Youth (Ages 5-13 or Grades K-8)

Youth development support targetted: School Remote/Virtual/Online Classes

Primary funding source: Corporate Sponsorship (including in-kind donations, matching gifts, volunteer program), Government Entity/Grant, Private Philanthropic Foundation



Timeframe: Fall 2020 (Academic Year), Spring 2021 (Academic Year), Summer 2020, Winter 2020 (Academic Year)

Location: California

Total capacity: Unknown

Health and safety: Not applicable; We are not providing in-person supports.

How do you address inequity? 

There are many reasons for an equity gap among low-income families including the prohibitive cost of internet and the lack of an extensive broadband network in the Canal neighborhood. Because multiple families often live in a single home in the Canal, the leaseholder is often the only person who has access to the internet. These internet access challenges are compounded by the fact that many families do not have computers, or have only one computer per house, so all members must share a single computer. As a result of this huge inequity, multiple stakeholders realized the urgent need to implement a solution to address digital equity issues in the Canal and empower students to succeed through virtual learning.

Contact information: 

(415) 454-2640


Common agenda: 

Continuous communication: 

Backbone support: 

Mutually reinforcing activities: 

Shared measurement: 

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