Government Technology

Washington, D.C., Extends Free Wi-Fi Coverage to the National Mall


Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer, Washington, D.C./Photo courtesy of Washington, D.C.
Bryan Sivak, chief technology officer, Washington, D.C.

September 8, 2010 By

Who flew the Spirit of St. Louis airplane that's parked in the National Air and Space Museum? For visitors there, the answer -- Charles Lindbergh -- is now a click away, and it doesn't require a smartphone and wireless subscription.

The National Mall in Washington, D.C., has been covered by free Wi-Fi hot spots, officials announced Wednesday, Sept. 8 -- a new service made possible through cooperation of Washington, D.C.'s technology office, federal agencies and private-sector partners.

Six hot spots are now live from 3rd Street to 14th Street on the mall, where the Smithsonian museums and other prominent federal buildings are located. A few more hot spots will be added later, according to Rebekah Kenefick of the Washington, D.C., Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), including at the U.S. Department of Commerce building that's under construction.

Washington, D.C., had to partner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. General Services Administration, National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution because the mall is federal land and not controlled by the District of Columbia government. Those federal agencies are anchor institutions for the Wi-Fi hot spots on the mall.

Network hardware for hot spots on the National Mall was donated by Cisco, and Broomfield, Colo.-based communications firm Level 3 donated the Internet service, according to the OCTO.

"Now anyone can enhance the experience of a tourist visit, work break or fitness walk on the mall with all the rich resources available on the Internet -- information, music, maps, video and more," Washington, D.C., Chief Technology Officer Bryan Sivak said in a prepared statement. "This is one more example of how we're deploying technology to make life and work for residents, businesses and visitors more convenient, efficient and fun."

The new hot spots are now part of more than 220 Wi-Fi hot spots installed by the OCTO across the city. Many of them are located at police stations, public libraries and schools. The technology office has been working on a digital divide initiative, of which enhanced Internet coverage is a part.

The Web content available through the hot spots is unfiltered, except at hot spots located at schools, officials said.

A plotted map of all of Washington, D.C.'s free Wi-Fi hot spots is available.


| More

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Improving Emergency Response with Digital Communications
Saginaw County, Mich., increases interoperability, communication and collaboration with a digital voice and data network, as well as modern computer-aided dispatch.
Reduce Talk Time in Your Support Center by 40%
As the amount of information available to citizens and employees grows each year, so do customer expectations for efficient service. Contextual Knowledge makes information easy to find, dropping resolution times and skyrocketing satisfaction.
Emerging Technology Adoption in Local Government
In a recent survey conducted by Government Technology, 125 local government leaders shared their challenges, benefits and priorities when adopting emerging technologies such as cloud, mobility and IP. Read how your jurisdiction’s adoption of technology compares to your peers.
View All

Featured Papers