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City unveils Wireless in the Park

Under test/pilot program with Spectrum, City now offers free wireless to patrons of Elizabeth Milburn Park.

Post Date:08/03/2017 3:00 p.m.

Wireless in the park router

Following Cedar Park City Council’s expressed interest in offering public Wi-Fi in City parks, the City of Cedar Park is pleased to unveil free wireless access in one of the City’s most popular parks, Elizabeth Milburn Park.  The service is offered as a test/pilot program, in partnership with Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable).  The park, located at 1905 Sun Chase Boulevard, is home to the City’s annual July Fourth Celebration that is attended by thousands of people. 

The City and Spectrum tested the new system during the July Fourth Celebration, with much success.  Signs were posted throughout the park to inform visitors of this new wireless offering along with contact information to provide feedback. 

The City’s Director of Information Services Tim Scott said, “We talked with some citizens who used it and they loved it.”  

On July 4, the City saw 1,856 connections to the wireless system, peaking with 487 sustained devices at 8 p.m.  The City is now seeing around 40 connections daily to the new system. 

How it works
All Spectrum Internet customers receive unlimited WiFi access in Milburn Park while guest users are allowed up to 60 minutes per day access with the option to pay $2.95 per hour for additional access.

Parks patrons’ mobile devices will display one of three network IDs:  TWCWIFI, TWC WIFI Passpoint, or Cable WIFI.  Upon connecting to any of these networks, a user should select “Visitor Access”.  The user will then be prompted to enter his or her e-mail address and address ZIP Code.

Background
This partnership with Spectrum came about while the City’s Information Services department was investigating options to add wireless internet service in parks.  Spectrum offered to test a pilot program to provide wireless service in one park, free of charge.  The City agreed and partnered with Spectrum to create a detailed plan for installing a wireless solution in Elizabeth Milburn Park.  The solution involved designing a deployment that was aesthetically pleasing, avoided any potential trip hazards and would blend in well with the existing facility. City Council subsequently approved this design and authorized the pilot project. The City entered into a three-year agreement with Spectrum to test the program. 

Installation was completed in early summer.  There are ten access points installed throughout the park.  This includes two access points in the pool area and eight scattered throughout the park to provide adequate coverage. 

“So far it’s been outstanding service,” Scott says.