Visitors to the Grove City Town Center now have more of a chance to get online wirelessly.
Grove City has expanded the range of the free, wireless Internet offered in the Town Center and upgraded the quality of the network.
"We put in a commercial-grade product," said Todd Hurley, Grove City's information technology director. "It gives us a little bit of a larger footprint ... (and) it replaces a network that had some deficiencies."
Installation of the upgraded system occurred the week of Feb. 4, Hurley said. While the city has offered some form of public wi-fi in the Town Center going back seven or eight years, Hurley said, the equipment got to the point where it needed an upgrade because of its age.
The network now covers Broadway from just south of Kingston Avenue to just north of Columbus Street.
The city Wi-Fi network in the Town Center, Hurley said, is a mesh network that uses equipment from Cisco Systems and is comprised of four access points known as nodes. The result is a more reliable, robust system with better bandwidth.
"Your traffic will access from one node to the next until it connects to point of presence," said Hurley, adding that the point of presence is where the network connects to the Internet. "Someone could be sitting in the parking lot right by City Hall and be on the Internet."
Previously, the city contracted an outside company to run its network, but now it will be maintained in-house.
"We own, operate and manage all aspects of the mesh network," Hurley said.
Currently, the public Wi-Fi network of Grove City is limited to the Town Center, and while Hurley said he is not aware of any current plans to expand the network elsewhere in the city, it is an option.
"We planned for the ability to expand it if we chose to do so," he said.
To access the shared connection, residents must find the "GC Public Access" wireless network on their Internet-enabled devices. After connecting and agreeing to a disclaimer, visitors will be routed to the city's webpage with full Internet access, a news release from the city stated.
For questions and troubleshooting issues, residents can call the city offices at 614-277-3000.