Harvard Square has invigorated its free outside Wi-Fi access

February 28, 2013, Cambridge, MA In June 2008, The Harvard Square Business Association (HSBA) worked closely with the city of Cambridge to launch a free public outside wireless network service to accommodate the Wi-Fi needs of millions of visitors to the Square each year.

After nearly five years and thousands of users, HSBA data shows that over 25% of visitors to their website, www.harvardsquare.com, come through a mobile device. This number increases every month. In order to facilitate the ever-growing number of mobile users, the Harvard Square Business Association is pleased to announce that they have launched a more robust system that will allow for higher throughput.

Using Aerohive technology, the association contracted with One World WiFi, who installed Aerohive AP170 802.11 a/b/g/n devices in wireless access points across the Square. According to Brendan Burroughs, president of One World Wi-Fi, “This project puts Harvard Square at the forefront of locations around the country who embrace Wi-Fi as a means to connect their public to local businesses and to each other. The network will allow end-users to take advantage of the latest BYOD networking technology.”

As with the first deployment, the HSBA spearheaded this project in partnership with the city of Cambridge, Harvard University, and association members, many of whom allow access to rooftops and basements. Google has also invested in the project’s launch of additional Wi-Fi infrastructure in an effort to provide people the ability to get online from anywhere, anytime, from any device. Denise Jillson, Executive Director of the Harvard Square Business Association said, “We are excited about this launch and in particular, about using Aerohive Technology. While our previous system worked well, it is imperative for us to keep up with the growing demand for Wi-Fi and all that it entails.”
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“As mobile devices become ubiquitous in today’s society, public Wi-Fi has increasingly become a need for consumers, but the majority of cities have yet to supply this,” said David Flynn, chief executive officer at Aerohive Networks. “Harvard Square has placed itself ahead of the curve in realizing the need for an outdoors Wi-Fi network to support the more than 8 million annual visitors. Aerohive is proud to have been selected by the Harvard Square Business Association to help transform this vision of free, accessible Wi-Fi into a reality.”

Jillson further stated, “As a society, we have come to expect public Wi-Fi. Our association directors and officers believe that it is no longer a luxury, but view it as a necessity. It should be as readily available as electricity and cell phone service. Through their thoughtful, but aggressive leadership, we invested in and are prepared to maintain a Wi-Fi network system that will be enjoyed by the public for years to come.”