Five Chicago Beaches Now Offer Free WiFi

Entrepreneurs can now enjoy the sun and surf while keeping up with their social media.

Starting today, five Chicago beaches offer free wi-fi — North Avenue, Osterman/Hollywood, Montrose, Foster, and Rainbow beaches. It’s all part of the city’s plan to expand wi-fi at public outdoor locations, such as parks and plazas, throughout the city.

“I am committed to making Chicago one of the most connected cities in the world by expanding access to high speed internet in people’s homes, businesses and in public spaces,” says Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “In the coming months, we will build off of this initiative and the free wi-fi offered in Millennium Park by extending free wi-fi services to additional parks and public spaces throughout Chicago.”

Made possible through a partnership with Cisco and Everywhere Wireless, the Chicago Park District identified five beach locations with existing infrastructure that accommodates wi-fi connectivity.They placed the wireless infrastructure on surrounding buildings. So, for the best connection, sit close to a building.

“With today’s busy lifestyle, it’s important that we stay connected even when we’re spending a day at the beach,” says Chicago Park District General Superintendent Michael Kelly. “The availability of wi-fi adds a new amenity to the great experience that our beaches already offer.”

The Chicago Park District is footing the bill for power, electrical work, and infrastructure. Everywhere Wireless provided the design at each location, Internet connectivity, backhaul equipment and setup. Cisco provided the wireless access points and cloud management services.

For now, it’s a pilot program. If successful, wi-fi will remain at the current locations, and could expand to other beaches. ❒

2 Comments

  • Ting Joven says:

    This is awesome Rose! Just don’t leave the laptop or phones unattended. A win-win situation. Additional income for the city (from service providers) and “work and play” for beachgoers. Downside? Thieves!

  • Rose Tibayan Rose Tibayan says:

    Good point, Ting. There will be even more of an abundance of laptops and smart phones outdoors now that easy connectivity is available. Bring your tether locks!

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