Free WiFi in Cedar Hill By Summer 2017
CEDAR HILL—The local parks in Cedar Hill are going to be even hotter in 2017. Cedar Hill officials recently announced that they are working with Time Warner Cable to provide public WiFi hotspots in government operated locations. Some local parks, the public library and even the Recreation Center will all have free WiFi service as early as the spring of 2017, according to City of Cedar Hill IT Director Earl Shipman.
This is the city’s first experiment in the world of free public WiFi and Shipman says it is a learning process.
The city is dipping its toe into the water carefully to see how it is received. Shipman explained, “The long-term goal is to provide free WiFi without using a cable company. Partnering with Time Warner Cable [TWC] in the short-term allows us to see how well it would be received without the City having to invest money into this project just yet.”
Although the public WiFi is city sponsored, Time Warner Cable will still be responsible for any technical issues that customers experience. TWC is providing the equipment, software, connectivity and installation. In return the company will be able to install its equipment to serve people in agreed upon locations in the city as well.
“Basically Time Warner Cable is the official “public” WiFi provider for this particular project,” Shipman said. “While Time Warner Cable will be the WiFi service provider, residents will still be able to access any service that their laptop or mobile device is equipped to access.” That includes other providers that service Cedar Hill like AT&T, Charter Spectrum, Cable One and Comcast.
Long-time resident Pam Slater said she’s excited about the free WiFi in Cedar Hill, and getting acquainted with Time Warner Cable services.
“I am at the Recreation Center a lot, and this means I can still stay connected,” Slater said. “I think Cedar Hill does a good job of trying to make residents lives easier and this is an example.”
As for the choice of the free service provider, Shipman explained “Time Warner was the only company that offered a program to provide public WiFi without cost to the city.” The service will work whether the resident is a customer or not.
Once the WiFi is activated, residents and visitors will see the TWC/Cedar Hill broadcast network name on their WiFi enabled device. Time Warner Cable customers can sign in to receive the free service.
If you’re not a Time Warner Cable customer, you logon as a guest and receive free service for 60 minutes. For folks who are not customers, but need more than 60 minutes they can purchase an “Access Pass.”
The Access Pass purchasing options are one hour at $2.95, one day at $6.95, a week at $19.95 and one month at $44.95.
Time Warner Cable is also offering two major City sponsored events per year with unlimited free access to all citizens; one of the events will be Country Day on the Hill and the other is not yet determined.
“Overall, this benefits the city because we hope it will draw citizens and visitors to our parks, downtown area and the government facilities,” Shipman concluded. “It helps TWC with recruiting new customers for their overall cable services.”
The locations that will have access to free WiFi in Cedar Hill include: Historic Downtown Area, Crawford Park, Parkerville Park, Baseball Fields at Parkerville Park, Soccer Field at Valley Ridge Park, Virginia Weaver Park, Cedar Hill Government Center, Alan Sims Recreation Center and the Zula B. Wyle Public Library