Detroit, MI

Free Wi-Fi Comes To Downtown Detroit Parks And Public Spaces, Helping Bridge Digital Divide

Becca Ballard

The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), announced the launch of free, high-speed public Wi-Fi internet in Downtown Detroit parks and public spaces. The CEO, Eric Larson, and Board Chair, Cindy Pasky, announced huge news last week.

As parks are a vital role in bringing people together, the pandemic only reinforced the role of outside public spaces. The new internet across Detroit will help build digital equity and reduce barriers for community memebers and Downtown Detroit residents without access. This improvement will also create flexibility to visitors and small business partners across the multiple parks.

Detroit’s digital divide is consistently one of the most extreme in the coutry. Approximately 63 percent of the city’s low-income households lack a home Internet connection compared to 35 percent of U.S. homes across the country.

The initial rollout includes five Downtown parks including Campus Martius Park, Cadillac Square, Capitol Park, Grand Circus Park and The Woodward Esplanade. All of these parks attract more than three million visitors annually.    

The Detroit community can start accessing the network “Detroit Parks” on all devices, without a password, at a total system capacity of 1GB and speeds up to 10GB.

Free Wi-Fi not only provides visitors access to information, but also gives the opportunity to use the park networks to conduct important activities online, including: locating and scheduling COVID-19 testing or vaccinations, accessing education platforms and resources, seeking employment, learning more about park wellness programs and other offerings and maintaining social connections and support.

With each year more than 250+ programming and event partners, 300 market vendors and 75+ mobile food businesses that participate each year in DDP’s public spaces, this business eco-system can now take advantage of high-speed internet as a free amenity of the parks. With more online orders, deliveries and curbside pickups expected in 2021, a dedicated network for everyone to have the ability to connect to is crucial.

Cronus Communications LLC, Detroit’s only headquartered internet provider in Michigan, generously sponsored and partnered with the DDP. They have installed the combination fiber and fixed wireless network so now, the network can accommodate thousands of users online at one time.

About Downtown Detroit Partnership

Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) strengthens and supports Downtown Detroit through strategic initiatives and programs. DDP helps create a vibrant and resilient urban core for Detroit and the surrounding community. DDP is responsible for programming, managing and operating several of Downtown Detroit’s parks and public spaces. For more information, visit DowntownDetroit.org.

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