The City of Plano has announced a creative public/private partnership to bring Wi-Fi to all major City of Plano parks and recreation facilities. The program is made possible through the generous support of Toyota, Time Warner Cable and American Park Network. Time Warner Cable is extending its Wi-Fi network to the City’s recreations centers and High Point Park, while Toyota is working with American Park Network to provide additional hotspots in areas outside of the Time Warner Cable coverage area.
“Now you don’t have to go offline when you’re outdoors, watching your kids’ games, or working out,” said Amy Fortenberry, Plano’s Director of Parks and Recreation. “Our new Wi-Fi systems allow visitors to communicate and connect in our city’s most interactive spaces, our parks and recreation facilities!”
Wi-Fi is now available at outdoor locations, such as High Point Tennis Center, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Haggard, Carpenter and Oak Point Parks, the free service is called Oh, Ranger! Wi-Fi™. At indoor locations/recreation centers, visitors can find the free service by selecting TWCWiFi in the Wi-Fi settings on their mobile devices. The complete list of locations that already have Wi-Fi through APN/Toyota or Time Warner Cable: Liberty, Carpenter, Tom Muehlenbeck, and Oak Point Rec. Center’s; Plano Aquatic Center; Heritage Yards; Enfield Park; High Point Park; Oak Point Nature Preserve & Amphitheater; Arbor Hills Nature Preserve; High Point Tennis Center; Haggard and Carpenter Park. Other locations, such as the Senior Rec. Center, will get the City Wi-Fi connection through the City’s network but a future completion date is not yet established.
“We’re thrilled to partner with American Park Network to help keep people connected while they enjoy Plano’s beautiful public spaces,” said Dionne Colvin-Lovely, National Director, Traditional and New Media, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. “And we are doubly-thrilled to be able to make a positive difference in Toyota’s new home of Plano.”
Toyota has been working with American Park Network to bring free Wi-Fi to public areas around the United States, with Plano being the latest location. Mark Saferstein, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief at American Park Network, said, “Toyota has set an amazing example of the benefits of public/private partnership. We’re thrilled that their continued support has made it possible to bring free public Wi-Fi to select park locations in the City of Plano, as well as in popular parks all across the country. We look forward to working collaboratively with Toyota to encourage everyone to get outdoors by providing connectivity at more of America’s parks nationwide.”
Time Warner Cable launched its Wi-Fi network in the City of Plano in 2015 and today offers more than 500 TWC Wi-Fi Hotspots throughout the city. The additional hotspots throughout the park system will be available to all park visitors at no cost for up to one hour per day. Time Warner Cable customers with Extreme Internet service or higher and Business Class Internet customers have free unlimited access to all TWC hotspots.
“Time Warner Cable has built a robust Wi-Fi network in Plano and throughout our service areas because we know how important it is to stay connected on the go,” said Rob Cerbone, VP of Wireless Product Management for Time Warner Cable. “We’re excited to partner with the City of Plano to bring our fast and reliable Wi-Fi to all park visitors through this unique collaboration.”
Plano has a world-class park system and was selected as the 2015 NRPA Gold Medal winner for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. This is the most prestigious award a parks and recreation agency can receive. This new, innovative Wi-Fi service, provided at absolutely no cost to taxpayers, is another indication of Plano responding to citizen requests and taking a creative approach to working with partners to provide cutting-edge, public services.
In addition to providing free connectivity for visitors, these new systems will also help to identify park visitation patterns, generate awareness of upcoming programs and events, and promote the support of Plano’s parks.
**Update: As of Friday, March 18, The City of Plano retracted their original statement that Plano was the first city in Texas to provide Wi-Fi in all parks and recreation centers.**