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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         July 5, 2007

Release No. M-72-07

 

 

CITY EXPANDS WI-FI IN PARKS AND BLAISDELL CENTER

 

            Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced today (Thursday, July 5) that more parks now have wireless Internet service.

 

            The parks are Ewa Beach District Park, Kalakaua District Park, Nanakuli Beach Park, and Maili Beach Park.

 

            Hannemann also announced that the Neal Blaisdell Center will provide wi-fi beginning this month, adding a service to tenants renting the center for conventions, exhibitions, and business meetings.

 

            Mayor Hannemann said, “We’ve accomplished the free wi-fi in our parks through a public-private partnership with two generous nonprofit organizations in our community:  the Hawaii Open Source Educational Foundation headed by Scott Belford, and It’s Just Kids, under the direction of Jeff Randall.

 

            “We’re looking forward to collaborating with Scott and Jeff on other endeavors, as well as finding private sector partners to assist us with expanding free wireless service in Honolulu.  In particular, we’re very grateful to Clearwire Wireless for helping us expedite the Kalakaua District Park deployment.”

 

            HOSEF’s Scott Belford added, “HOSEF is ready to move forward to make additional City parks wi-fi hotzones over the next few months  This approach not only provides access to the Internet for the community, and particularly young people, but enables my organization to keep electronic waste out of our landfill.”

 

            HOSEF (www.hosef.org) promotes the use of open source software, recycles used personal computers, and teaches students to rebuild computers and develop software.

 

            While City parks are expanding the reach of wi-fi, EarthLink has announced that it will be scaling back on its commitment for free wi-fi in Chinatown.

 

 

            Gordon Bruce, the director of the City’s Department of Information Technology, said, “It’s unfortunate that EarthLink has decided to reduce its commitment to this much anticipated project.  However, the company is underwriting a circuit for a year, and we expect to make it available this summer.

 

            “We’ve learned a lot from this challenging, first-ever project during the past year.  Legal, engineering, technical, design, and deployment plans have all been completed and will serve as a template for the application of wi-fi service in other areas of town.  We will finalize all of the permits shortly and consider a number of promising alternatives so that we can honor our commitment to complete the Chinatown project this summer.”

 

            A listing of free wi-fi hotzones can be found at www.honoluluhotzones.org

 

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Contact:

Gordon Bruce, 768-7621

Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Thursday, July 05, 2007

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