Thursday, October 29, 2009


Miami Beach’s Free Citywide WiFi Service is Hot

-- Wire-Cutting Ceremony to be Held Friday, October 30 @ 3:00 p.m. --

Miami Beach, FL -- Miami Beach is now hotter than ever. Free wireless Internet connection has swept the city. The City of Miami Beach worked with IBM and other organizations including FDOT, FPL and Wireless Nets to complete what is amongst the first free, citywide, municipal WiFi networks in the country and first in South Florida.

An official “wire-cutting” ceremony with city officials and project partners will be held on Friday, October 30, 3:00 p.m. at Miami Beach City Hall.

“WiFi Miami Beach will make our city safer, our government more efficient, and provide free Internet access to our residents and visitors,” said Miami Beach City Manager Jorge M. Gonzalez.

The broadband technology was developed to strengthen public safety, increase government efficiency in delivery of services, and provide a basic level of access to the public. The City specifically plans to use WiFi technology to support mobile access citywide for public safety teams and other government agencies.

WiFi Miami Beach also offers the public two free networks: City_of_Miami_Beach_WiFi and a content-filtered version, MBKIDS, that provides safe Internet service for Miami Beach children using the same application implemented by Miami-Dade County Public Schools. There is a bilingual, 24/7 help hotline available for users: 305-722-1917.

The WiFi Miami Beach network began a “soft launch” in phases last week. From October 21 - 26, the network was available for use and over 1,100 users registered and connected to the network over 3,800 times. After the ceremony, the network will enter into a reliability period of 90 days during which the network will be available for all users. The network must successfully perform during the reliability period before the City of Miami Beach will accept it from IBM. WiFi Miami Beach is required to meet a 95 percent outdoor and 70 percent coverage inside a building up to the second floor. Additional tuning and relocation of nodes may still occur during this period to enhance coverage and connectivity. The operations and maintenance phase of the project will begin after the City accepts the network and will continue for six years.

The City of Miami Beach entered into an approximately $5.2M agreement with IBM that includes capital investment, installation, and maintenance for six years after the city accepts the system. Miami Beach residents, as part of the agreement, receive discounts to Lenovo products.


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