As part of its DC Community Access Network (DC-CAN) federally funded initiative to help spur broadband adoption in underserved communities in the District, DC-Net has deployed 44 new outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots with free public access to the Internet—with 30 new hotspots in underserved areas. This brings the current number of indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots managed by the District to 355.
When DC-Net completes its outdoor hotspot deployment in June, 2013, it will have an additional 179, bringing the total to 535.
An infrastructure project funded through a BTOP grant under the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act, DC-CAN is bringing fiber-based broadband services to community anchor locations throughout the District, such as charter schools, health clinics, and other non-profits. It is also upgrading network infrastructure at many public libraries, FEMS locations, and police stations. At each of these 223 new and 68 upgrade sites, DC-Net is adding an outdoor Wi-Fi hotspot for free public access to the Internet.
Of the 44 new hotspots deployed, most have gone up in underserved parts of the city, with 15 in Ward 8, eight in Ward 5, and seven in Ward 7. Locations include:
- 12 public libraries (Anacostia, Capitol View, Chevy Chase, Dorothy I. Height-Benning, Juanita E. Thornton-Shepherd Park, Lamond Riggs, Palisades, Parklands-Turner, Rosedale, Southwest, Watha T. Daniel-Shaw, and William O. Lockridge-Bellevue)
- 13 FEMS locations (including the training facility and engine company stations 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 11, 12, 14, 19, 27, 30, and 32)
- 6 Metropolitan Police stations
- 6 health and community services sites
- 5 charter schools and other educational facilities
- CCDC at 4600 Livingston Avenue, SE (P.R. Harris)
- Barry Farm public housing site
Each hotspot supports up to 10 Mbps access per user, with a total available capacity per hotspot of 100 Mbps.
In addition, in 2010 DC-Net deployed free Wi-Fi at the National Mall and in other locations in the city. Our wireless engineering team keeps a tally of usage on outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots. When big events take place on the mall the user count jumps. For example, during the September 2012 national book event we saw a unique user count of close to 1500 for the day. Measured over the course of a year, the average number of unique users on the mall is close to 300 per day. Not enough data is available yet for community based hotspots, but early indicators are that these are used and usage continues to increase as more people find out about and take advantage of these.
To find Wi-Fi hotspots near you, see the hotspot map.
For information about DC-Net Wi-Fi efforts, see Wireless Initiatives page.