Free WiFi is now available to patrons of Cedar Park’s Elizabeth Milburn Park, officials said.
Following the City Council’s expressed interest in offering public WiFi in city parks, the city agreed to partner with Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable), who offered to run a pilot program free of charge to install and test the system. After the City Council approved Spectrum's designs and system proposals, the city entered into a three-year agreement with Spectrum to test the program.
The first test run for the wireless system was during the city’s annual July Fourth Celebration at Milburn Park, located at 1905 Sun Chase Boulevard. During the event, there were 1,856 connections made to the wireless system, according to a Cedar Park press release.
As many as 487 devices were using the WiFi by 8 p.m. during the event, and officials report around 40 connections daily, according to the press release.
“We wanted to take into account and test the capacity of what the system could handle on July 4th,” said Tim Scott, Cedar Park’s director of information services. “We talked with some citizens who used it and they loved it.”
City officials are evaluating future sites and city parks to expand the service as they review the data from the Milburn pilot program, Scott said.
While Spectrum Internet customers can receive unlimited WiFi access in Milburn Park, guest users are only allowed a free hour per day before being changed $2.95 an hour for additional access.
When searching for WiFi at Milburn, three network IDs will appear, TWCWIFI, TWC WIFI Passpoint and Cable WIFI. Once connected to any of the networks, users are instructed to select “Visitor Access,” where they will be prompted to enter their email address, street address and ZIP code.
There are ten access points installed throughout the park. This includes two access points in the pool area and eight scattered throughout the park to provide coverage.
“We wanted to offer (Cedar Park residents) the added benefit to connect to wireless and get a faster speed than their cellular speed,” Scott said. “This will allow park visitors to better upload videos of their kids playing in the park as well as the various games and stuff hosted there. There’s also the option for those who want to come out during the nice days and get some work done.”