July 30, 2004

Wi-Fi Implementation First

Grand Haven, Mich., Completes Citywide Wi-Fi Network

News Story
Jul 30 2004
Grand Haven Mayor Roger Bergman recently announced the completion of the city's Wi-Fi broadband network.

According to the mayor, it is the nations first fully operational citywide implementation. Other cities have announced intent to build similar networks or have announced partial deployments; in contrast, the Grand Haven implementation is the first full and complete citywide Wi-Fi deployment.

"As the first Wi-Fi city in America, Grand Haven has truly lived up to its name in the Internet era, as we now allow anyone anywhere to connect to the Internet and roam the city and waterways in a completely secure computing environment," Mayor Bergman said.

Developed and managed by Ottawa Wireless, the system uses several hundred Wi-Fi (802.11a, b, g) radios strategically located upon the city infrastructure to blanket its six square miles and provide coverage 15 miles into Lake Michigan.

"Grand Haven demonstrates how the public and private sectors can work together to provide an entire city and everyone within its limits with more affordable, easy-to-access Internet service," the mayor added. "This is a proud moment for Grand Haven, and the benefits of anytime-anywhere Internet access are being enjoyed by every facet of our town, from tourists, boaters, and residents to businesses and municipal agencies. Already with more than 300 customers, this Wi-Fi service is having a dramatic impact on the way people work, play and communicate around town. Its benefits are many, as it enables new public security services, attracts businesses, boosts tourism and supports education."

Grand Haven, population 12,000, has more than 2 million visitors each year. Some hotels and marinas subsidize the wireless service, offering it free to guests. A local realtor views home listings and prices while touring properties with clients. A local web designer has relocated his office to his boat for the summer. Other current customers include the city administration, large and small businesses and restaurants. Local public safety agencies and the hospital are in the process of connecting to the network.

In addition to fixed/mobile high-speed Internet access, Ottawa Wireless provides advanced services, such as point-to-point dedicated VPN connections, remote wireless video surveillance, and high-speed access for boaters up to 15 miles offshore and at speeds of up to 55 miles per hour. Citywide mobile Wi-Fi VoIP telephone calling is currently in beta testing with full launch expected in the next few months.

Monthly prices for always-on broadband Internet starts at $19.99 for 256 kbps, and unlimited mobile VoIP calling is $29.99. Connections up to 1 Mbps and per-day pricing options are also available.

News: Grand Haven, Mich., Completes Citywide Wi-Fi Network - Jul 30 2004 05:00AM

Posted by Craig at July 30, 2004 02:17 PM