The City of Englewood, New Jersey, announced on June 6 the launch of a free, high speed public Wi-Fi network. The network, operating on the 802.11ac wireless standard, provides connection speeds up to 100 Mbps and spans a one-mile stretch of the city’s downtown area, according to a press release.
Built by Massachusetts-based Ackrion, Inc., the network received immediate and positive response from the public, even before the announcement, according to the city. “We turned on the Wi-Fi network and within the first few days, even before we made any announcement, we’ve had over 1,100 unique devices connect to and use the new Wi-Fi,” Adam Brown, chairman of the Englewood Economic Development Corporation said.
Backed by a fiber network, the new Wi-Fi offering is enabled by bandwidth and antenna installations provided by local organizations like the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Bergen Performing Arts Center, real estate equity company TREECO and NVE Bank.
The first consumer devices using the 802.11ac wireless standard, which operate in the 5GHz band, began popping up early 2013. Some have suggested that the standard is fast enough to replace traditional wired Ethernet networks. The standard uses a technique called “beamforming” to target radio transmissions at specific devices, making data transmission more reliable and more energy efficient than older wireless standards. The range of the new standard is roughly the same, but speeds can theoretically reach beyond 1 Gbps.