City Launches Free Public Wi-Fi in East Arlington Community
By Office of Communication
Posted on October 27, 2021, October 27, 2021

Through the City’s newly launched outdoor wireless network, residents and visitors can enjoy free public Wi-Fi on their laptops, tablets, smartphones and other enabled devices in a select area of East Arlington.

The City’s Smart Lighting and Neighborhood Wi-Fi Project in East Arlington was made possible by $458,000 in Federal CARES Act funding. The outdoor wireless network aims to provide residents with equal access to online resources, while the smart lighting systems more efficiently manage energy consumption and provide the City with real time operational status of lighting fixtures.

The City’s free public Wi-Fi service area is located between East Abram Street to the north, Sherry Street to the east, East Park Row Drive to the south and New York Avenue to the west. Arlington selected this area through the review of the American Community Survey (ACS), which provides data such as population, income levels and households without internet services. The evaluation also included the availability to existing City Network and Street Infrastructure.

According to the ACS, 18% of the 1,164 household within this neighborhood have insufficient access to home internet. Also, since 98% of the households within this neighborhood have a computer and 29% of the population are currently enrolled in school, this free public Wi-Fi will benefit people with job searches, working remotely, distance learning, homework, and access to online services.

The City’s outdoor wireless network goal is to serve our residents with an enjoyable online experience. Please keep in mind that:

  • From any Wi-Fi enabled device (laptop, tablet, phone, etc.) please go to the Wi-Fi settings and select #ArlingtonWi-Fi. Our residents must accept the Terms of Use policy.
  • The service currently supports connection speeds that are limited to 10MB upload and download.
  • The Wi-Fi coverage may be weaker in some areas due to physical obstructions, distance limitations and interference.
  • The online experience will vary depending on the client device (phone, tablet, laptop) and distance from the Wi-Fi equipment.
  • The Wi-Fi network was designed for outdoor coverage – indoor connectivity is not guaranteed.
  • The Wi-Fi services and Internet usage is a free shared service provided by the City of Arlington.

Funding for the Smart Lighting and Neighborhood Wi-Fi Project in East Arlington approved in October 2020 and construction was completed this September. The project planning efforts and final design included a cross-functional team from Public Works & Transportation and Information Technology, as well as private sector partners OB Traffic, Schreder and SmartWave Technologies. Over the past year, the team installed the equipment in existing traffic control cabinets, streetlights and leveraged the capabilities of City-owned fiber optic cabling network to extend services into the neighborhood.

Smart Lighting and Neighborhood Wi-Fi

Put Technology To Work, Support Youth and Families, City Council District 5
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