Free Wi-Fi in Pleasant Hill, California

Pleasant Hill’s muni Wi-Fi network has been up and running for three months now, offering free (with banner ads)  Wi-Fi service to almost 70 percent of the city. There will be a paid option (no ads) very soon.

The city set up a muni Wi-Fi network in 2005 for the police department at a cost of $200,000 and had initially planned to spend close to $400,000 to expand the network to offer Internet access to the public. But it decided in the end to hire an ISP to own and run the network. Pleasant Hill signed a 15-year contract with airCloud Communications, which already offers DSL and wireless broadband in Pleasant Hill and neighboring communities. It’s interesting to see a different model emerging in muni Wi-Fi: ISPs like Cablevision and airCloud that already offer fixed broadband service are rolling out Wi-Fi service to serve their customers.

Comments

  1. Free internet around town is a Wonderful concept!

    I live in PH & use the service on occasion, but the connection is soooo slow, & the signal is so weak (even within a few hundred yards of the broadcast), that the effort is hardly worth it.

    I usually end up at the coffee shop to get the connection I need.

    Thanks for trying though !

  2. I would be interested to know where the service is slow. Every test we have done is 1Mbps to 3Mbps depending on distance to the AP.

    We are always striving for improvement.

  3. Jen Jasper says

    I haven’t been able to get on the free wifi network in Pleasant Hill at all… I periodically detect an entry called “Free Internet Access” on my MacBook and iPod Touch, but I can’t seem to connect to it — is it really open network, or is there a password for Pleasant Hill residents? Or is the muniwireless named something else and I am not detecting it at all? Thanks.

  4. Please visit http://aircloud.com/public/ for a map of access points. The SSID is “aircloud-free-wifi”

  5. Bob Nearman says

    I live in the area and have had great luck with the service. Use along the CBD w/o an additional antenna but had to add a Ruckus to get quality signal at home. Super “amenity” for residents!

  6. I think with the condition of our economy and schools that the 400 grand would be better used elsewhere. This wasteful spending tends to eliminate public offices.

  7. I agree with Tony, It seems to me that the city should take care of more important things like perhaps the flooding issues and perhaps some street lights in our dark neighborhoods ect…. Could this luxury have waited?