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ConnectBoulder Free Public WiFi Access

ConnectBoulder Free Public WiFi Access

Definition

This page shows the number of wireless access points — or Wi-Fi antennas — operated by the city to allow guests to connect to the Internet with ConnectBoulder, the city’s free public Wi-Fi service.

This page also shows the number of guest connections to the city's ConnectBoulder free public Wi-Fi service.

Target

The target for ConnectBoulder connections is a five percent increase per year.

Significance

Free public Wi-Fi has the potential to provide economic opportunity, intensify innovation, provide new avenues for citizen engagement in local decision-making, reduce carbon footprints and improve quality of life for Boulder residents and visitors.

Trend

Since the city began deploying Wi-Fi in approximately 2003, it has added an average of 12 to 15 access points each year. As the demand for coverage increases and technology makes it possible for network communication needs to be met without wires, the city expects continued increases in the number of access points, particularly as new outdoor Wi-Fi services are added.  The rate of increase will be determined by the financial resources made available to expand our wireless networks in the future, as well as potential changes to local regulations that currently limit where outdoor wireless access points can be mounted. 

Techniques for measuring the number of connections to ConnectBoulder are still under development, with new technologies being implemented to capture relevant data. As the coverage area of ConnectBoulder is expanded by the addition of access points and as its availability becomes better known, the city expects a modest increase in usage in the range of five to 10 percent per year. The ConnectBoulder usage target is currently set to a five percent increase per year, but will likely evolve with addition of new toolsets for measurement in the future. It is estimated that the number of connections to ConnectBoulder increased by approximately 16 percent between April 2016 and June 2017.

Two noteworthy changes have recently taken place that will impact this metric over the near-term.  Two new outdoor Wi-Fi offering became available in late-May 2017 at the Scott Carpenter Pool/Park and the Boulder Reservoir.  Also, at the Boulder Civic Center Wi-Fi site, use has been restricted as two outside Wi-Fi access points have recently been removed due to the ongoing construction work related to the Boulder Civic Area Project. The recent decrease in ConnectBoulder usage in early 2017 may be due to this temporary loss of Wi-Fi coverage in these areas.  However, we also expect significant increases in usage as the Scott Carpenter and Boulder Reservoir sites are more widely used.

About the Data:  This data is provided by the City of Boulder's Information Technology Department. This page will be updated monthly.

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