Hickory – Visitors to Union Square in Downtown Hickory will soon enjoy free public Wi-Fi thanks to a generous $275,000 product donation by Hickory-based CommScope.
“The City of Hickory is very fortunate to be home to a global communications networks provider that is committed to improving the lives of its neighbors here in Hickory, as well as communities around the world,” said Hickory City Manager Warren Wood.
“The installation of public Wi-Fi downtown further promotes the connectivity we are building throughout the city with the Hickory Trail and our other bond projects. This donation from CommScope will help Hickory residents and visitors continue to connect, engage, and thrive while enjoying our beautifully-renovated Union Square,” added Hickory Mayor Hank Guess.
CommScope will provide various connectivity technologies to the Union Square Wi-Fi project. Segra, one of the largest fiber infrastructure companies in the eastern United States and headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., will deliver the high-speed connectivity from its own state-of-the-art fiber network. The City of Hickory will cover ongoing maintenance and the annual service contract.
Donated products from CommScope and its affiliates include the following:
• The Ruckus T310 and T710 outdoor access points are designed to provide high-density Wi-Fi connectivity to outdoor public venues because these locations have the most demanding wireless requirements. Thirty-two access points will be used for this project.
• The Ruckus ICX 7650 high-performance switches allow the volume of wireless data traffic from devices connected to the Wi-Fi access points to travel faster through a service provider’s network. Two of these devices will be deployed in the city’s network and will be used as the high-speed backbone for the Union Square outdoor wireless installation.
• A SmartZone 100 Controller is a single wired and wireless network management user interface for deploying, monitoring, and troubleshooting the access points and switches.
• The Powered Fiber Cable System distributes power and fiber through the same cable to anywhere a network connection and power are required. It delivers low-voltage power from a centralized source without the need to install extra conduits, transformers, or remote uninterrupted power supplies. Approximately 24,600 feet of cable will be donated to this project.
Downtown guests will have access to Wi-Fi signal throughout the Union Square plaza and in part of Lowes Foods City Park.
“Whether it is in the ground, in building, or through the air, CommScope understands that networks and cities must evolve to meet the demands of an increasingly connected society,” said Burk Wyatt, Chief Legal Officer, CommScope. He also serves as chairman of the City’s Bond Commission.
“People expect the apps on their smartphones or tablet to work without any interruption of service,” Wyatt continued. “With CommScope being founded in Hickory more than 40 years ago, we are honored to help the residents and visitors of Hickory’s Union Square remain connected by donating our solutions to this important project. This donation helps demonstrate that CommScope supports the City’s Bond Commission efforts to continue to improve and revitalize our community.”
“We’re delighted to partner with the City of Hickory in providing reliable connectivity and managed services to the Union Square project,” said Tim Biltz, CEO, Segra. “The investments we’ve made in the network infrastructure throughout the Hickory area when combined with our industry-leading service, allow us to provide the grade of connectivity and quality of support needed for projects such as this. We look forward to meeting the communication needs of organizations throughout the area as we continue to expand our fiber network, grow our team, and work with the community.”
At its May 19 meeting, Hickory City Council officially accepted the product donation from CommScope and approved a public facility naming request to honor the sizable donation and its impact to the community. The newly added multipurpose shade structure on Union Square will be named “The CommScope Stage.”
The new Wi-Fi equipment will be installed next month, with service expected to be operational this summer. The new signage for the multipurpose structure will be installed and dedicated this summer.