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Aurora, Ill., Council Votes to Extend Wi-Fi, Fiber in City Park

A City Council committee has recommended two contracts to run a fiber-optic network and extend Wi-Fi service in the RiverEdge Park. Officials are hoping the service will be ready for a major holiday event later this year.

(TNS) — An Aurora City Council committee has recommended two different contracts to get RiverEdge Park's Wi-Fi installed and ready.

Aldermen on the Finance Committee recommended about a $1.1 million contract with National Technologies NTI, LLC, to install the fiber optic throughout the park and on the pedestrian bridge over the Fox River.

The fiber optic wire would connect all the access points as well as about 55 security cameras placed throughout the park, the bridge and places on the West Side across from the park.

"We've talked about this for years," said Jeff Anderson, the city's deputy chief information officer. "This year we looked at it holistically."

By that, Anderson meant that they not only looked at it from an IT perspective of connectivity, but from what would be needed from a security standpoint. A member of the city's police department weighed in on that, which is why officials brought forward the second contract, a $494,227 one with Scientel Solutions, LLC to provide the hardware — different kinds of cameras and other things needed at the access points.

The fiber wire will be installed yet this year. Anderson said the driving force for the timing is the Christkindlmarket, which German American Events, LLC is bringing to RiverEdge Park this year.

The Christkindlmarket is a traditional holiday market offering family-friendly events and intercultural activities, according to German American Events. It will run Nov. 18 through Dec. 24 at RiverEdge Park.

"We want to have Wi-Fi coverage throughout the park, for those attending, and for the vendors to use," Anderson said. "This will be the underground cable for everything."

The contract with Scientel for the equipment will roll out more deliberately. Anderson said the city plans to have all the equipment installed on the East Side of the river yet this year, but will wait until 2023 for the West Side.

With Finance Committee members recommending the contracts, they will now go to the entire council at Committee of the Whole Tuesday evening.

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