Microsoft and Seattle bring fast, free Wi-Fi to popular city attraction

 

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, left, and Dayne Sampson, Microsoft corporate vice president of Engineering.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, left, and Dayne Sampson, Microsoft corporate vice president of Engineering.

Microsoft and the City of Seattle are teaming up to bring fast, free Wi-Fi to people who visit Seattle Center, a spacious city attraction that hosts major festivals and draws tourists from around the world.

The pilot program – part of Mayor Ed Murray’s efforts to bring high-speed Internet access to city residents – uses “TV white space” technology, delivering broadband through unused television channels. The new system lets users browse at speeds more than 5,000 times faster than they could before.

The program not only benefits the more than 10 million people who visit Seattle Center each year but also “tests new technology that we may be able to deploy to other neighborhoods in the city,” Murray says.

“The most obvious advantages of this technology are speed and performance,” said Dayne Sampson, Microsoft corporate vice president of Engineering. “What will be exciting for those attending big events such as Bumbershoot is that this technology can handle more than 25,000 users at a time. That’s a distinct difference from the free Wi-Fi often found in public places.”

For more information about this program, see the press release.

Tracy Ith
Microsoft News Center Staff