If all goes according to plan, Fayetteville residents and visitors will be able enjoy free wireless internet access on the downtown square in a few days.
Cox Communications has partnered with the city and a few local businesses to install Wi-Fi transmitters at different locations around the square.
“Cox and the City of Fayetteville have been discussing this possibility for a while, and both organizations agreed that the service would be a fantastic benefit for patrons of the downtown Fayetteville square,” said Cox spokeswoman Kelly Zega.
So far, locations set to receive a transmitter include the Fayetteville Town Center, the Bank of Fayetteville, and the Old Post Office building.
“It’s important to us that the user experience be very good, so we are working hard to optimize the placement of our equipment to ensure that,” said Zega.
The plan is for the network to be up and running when the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market opens April 2.
“We are confident that the south side of the square around the plaza in front of the Fayetteville Town Center will be completed and are very hopeful that the remaining sides of the square will also be ready on Saturday,” said Zega.
“One day, we would hope that all public spaces might have easy access to worldwide communication,” said Mayor Lioneld Jordan. “This is a start and I thank Cox Communications for initiating this free service to the public.”
New bench-side outlets
In addition to the Wi-Fi network, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has installed additional electrical outlets near some of the benches on the square to allow charging of laptops, cell phones and other devices.
“The availability of free Wi-Fi surrounded by a beautiful garden setting in one of Fayetteville’s most visited and recognized historic locations is so uniquely Fayetteville,” said Connie Edmonston, the city’s parks director. “The opportunities that this offers to the public for connecting with others while connecting with nature is exciting.”
Free training (and lunch)
Zega said Cox employees will be in front of the Town Center starting at 9:00 a.m. Saturday with laptops set up to demonstrate how to access the service. Plus, she said, they’ll be serving free grilled hotdogs from 10:30 a.m. until around noon.