|The city of Goose Creek aims to provide free WiFi hotspots to businesses, residents and visitors |
The City of Goose Creek is located in the southern end of Berkeley County, South Carolina, approximately 20 miles north of Charleston. With a population of over 35,000 residents in 2010, the City has grown 23% over a 10-year period, almost 15% more than the South Carolina average growth rate, according to the 2010 government census.
Berkeley County has become a popular location for national companies seeking to relocate and/or expand into the area. Mega-giants such as Alcoa, Nucor Steel, and Google all have expanded their operations into Berkeley County. In addition, tourism within both the City and County attracts millions of visitors per year viewing the natural wonders at Cypress Gardens as well as historical locations within the 40 square mile city.
The City of Goose Creek teamed up with Google to provide free WiFi hotspots to businesses, residents and visitors within 4 main areas of the city limits. Google, which operates a $600 million data center near the City, has committed over $167,000 to the project for equipment and the next three years of maintenance. Diversified Computer Solutions, a Proxim Wireless Partner, was selected by the City of Goose Creek to deploy Proxim's high performance WiFi equipment for this project.
The WiFi infrastructure included 34 Proxim ORiNOCO AP 4000MR-LR access points with built-in 802.11a/b/g radios. Proxim's partner and full-service network and IT integrator, Diversified Computer Solutions (DCS), conducted the site survey to determine the optimal locations for the antenna and equipment locations. Although the biggest challenge was acquiring the pole rights and electricity to the light poles from Berkeley Electric Coop, the City of Goose Creek was instrumental in assisting DCS to obtain these rights for Proxim. Berkely Electric was also very supportive and quickly provided the City with the necessary rights and approvals.
"Goose Creek is a perfect city to provide its businesses and residents with free WiFi. No only are they located in a historical corridor but they also have very large corporations such as Google in their backyard," said Geoff Smith, Vice President of Sales of Proxim Wireless. "The Proxim WiFi equipment is extremely reliable and has been utilised in several other cities around the world. It will only be a matter of time before the City will want to expand additional hotspot locations."
"...The City chose Proxim Wireless as its WiFi equipment vendor because of their excellent reputation working with governmental entities such as ours,"
"The City chose Proxim Wireless as its WiFi equipment vendor because of their excellent reputation working with governmental entities such as ours," said Ryan Byrd, Information Technology Director for the City of Goose Creek. "In addition, their equipment provides the best value and performance compared to other manufacturers. We know that we made the right choice with Proxim."
As of 2010 there were close to 200 cities and municipalities that provide free outdoor WiFi for public use. Although offering free WiFi to the public does not provide a direct ROI as it is free, there are many indirect benefits which include additional bandwidth for municipality and government use, utility benefits such as wireless access for meter readers, increasing use of public parks and facilities such as libraries, and status of a high-tech community. Proxim's WiFi equipment is being used by more and more cities around the globe as municipalities are seizing the added benefits of pubic WiFi.
- The main challenge was to acquire the pole rights and electricity to the light poles from Berkeley Electric Coop.
- Proxim ORiNOCO AP 4000MR-LR access points with built-in 802.11a/b/g radios. 3-years of maintenance on all access points.
- Four main areas of the City of Goose Creek were enabled with hotspots, allowing free Wi-Fi access.
- Wi-Fi hotspots attract tourists and visitors within Berkeley County to visit the City.
- A value-added benefit to businesses and residents located near these hotspots.
- Additional wireless access for utility, public safety and government uses.