Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the City of Boston’s Department of Innovation Technology (DoIT) officially launched “Wicked Free WiFi: Boston’s Public Wireless Network,” the City of Boston’s free Public Wi-Fi. The service is available with more than 170 access points within the public wireless network and is reaching thousands of users across Boston’s neighborhoods.
“Closing the digital divide and providing free public Wi-Fi in our neighborhoods is essential,” said Mayor Walsh. “We want every Bostonian to have the same opportunities in today’s digital world. Wi-Fi access plays a significant role in every aspect of our lives from learning to earning. Our goal is to strengthen and expand our public network, and reach more families and businesses.”
“Wicked Free WiFi: Boston’s Public Wireless Network” is the newly branded name to identify all of Boston’s current and future investments in free Wi-Fi access. Street signage for hotspots will soon be posted at locations citywide.
Public Wi-Fi has been rolled out in many of Boston’s parks, schools, and downtown locations. The City’s fiber network – BoNet – is supporting the internet connection in public areas. Wi-Fi was connected using resources from the City and its partners, as well as the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhoods program.
The largest major Wi-Fi installation includes the Choice Neighborhood Grant; connecting the Grove Hall community and neighboring areas in 2013. This location is also the most widely accessed, with an average of 7,735 daily users and 89% repeat visitors.
“HUD is very excited about Boston’s innovative use of Choice Neighborhood funding for the Grove Hall Wi-Fi project,” said Barbara Fields, HUD New England Regional Administrator. “This project is opening the door to opportunity for Boston residents, in particular students and we are proud to be a part of this ‘out of the box’ thinking that is improving lives.”
Moving forward, Boston is focused on strategically connecting the city, and strengthening and expanding the Wicked Free Wi-Fi network. Plans are in progress to connect Boston’s 20 neighborhood Main Street programs, with an estimated 130 access points. Boston will continue to increase public Wi-Fi access points to drive economic development and develop municipal Wi-Fi to underserved areas.
“Boston’s approach is to provide affordable Wi-Fi to improve the lives of residents and increase the success of local business. We will continue to work towards connecting all of Boston,” said Justin Holmes, Interim Chief Information Officer.
Current Wicked Free Wi-Fi areas include :
– Grove Hall
– Boston Common
– Choice Neighborhood – areas of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Grove Hall
– City Hall
– Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway
– Faneuil Hall
– Hyde Park
– South Boston
For a map of hot spots and some FAQ’s visit: http://www.cityofboston.gov/doit/wifi/