Contact: Ayanna Smith; (202) 724-5178
Today District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and District Interim Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Chris Willey announced the latest addition to the District’s free wireless Internet initiative—an outdoor “hotspot” in the new, improved Eastern Market complex in southeast DC.
At the direction of Mayor Fenty, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) has already installed over 300 free wi-fi “hotspots” in District government sites throughout the city.
A “hotspot” is a site where anyone with a computer or other device with wi-fi capability can come and browse the Internet for free using the District’s wireless network. OCTO has installed hotspots in every Ward to provide convenient, citywide wi-fi Internet access for all.
The new Eastern Market hotspot is the first one in an outdoor location. At Eastern Market, residents and visitors can use the hotspot 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, rather than just during government office hours. Visitors in the area on a beautiful summer night need not return to their hotels just to use the Internet. And during the spring, summer, and fall, everyone can enjoy nice weather while browsing the Internet with their laptops and PDAs.
Over the next 12 months, OCTO will launch an additional 200 hotspots in other locations around the city, including public schools and additional outdoor locations.
All of the wi-fi hotspots are open to anyone, and there are no restrictions on what Internet sites users can visit, except at the hotspots in schools. At these sites, there are limits on access to some Internet sites to protect minors from harm.
To help people get to the hotspots, OCTO has created a simple mapping application that displays all the wi-fi hotspots and information about each hotspot site. Users can visit http://wifi.dc.gov, click on any of the hotspot icons on the District map, and see the name and address of the hotspot site, along with a close-up map of its surrounding area and a link to directions from and to their starting point or destination.
“In today’s economy, access to the digital world is vital for the prosperity of individuals and the community,” said Interim CTO Willey. “We are dedicated to expanding access to technology for all residents and bridging the digital divide.”