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March 2015
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CityLink Seattle

FAST WiFi at Seattle Center!

Mayor Ed Murray today unveiled a new free Wi-Fi service at Seattle Center. The service, which serves tens of thousands of people simultaneously, was developed in partnership with Microsoft. The Mayor sees it as another step forward in our work to seek out public-private partnerships to improve Internet access in Seattle. More than 12 million people visit Seattle Center each year, and now they will enjoy fast, free broadband on their devices. This pilot program tests new technology that we may be able to deploy to other neighborhoods in the city.

Seattle Center is offering two Bumbershoot passes to a user chosen at random who goes to twitter.com/seattlecenter and retweets:  Thanks @Microsoft for the superfast wifi!

Dayne Sampson, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Engineering, weighed in on the WiFi, saying that the most obvious advantages of this technology are speed and performance. What will be especially 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.”

Previous Wi-Fi network speeds at Seattle Center supported email and basic web browsing, but bogged down when too many people used the system at the same time. The new system enables users to browse at speeds more than 5,000 times faster than the old system, enabling visitors to make Skype calls, back-up photos, and connect with events and vendors at Seattle Center. Microsoft brought in a digital fiber line capable of transmitting multiple gigabits per second.

The service has a new landing page with tips about how to enjoy Seattle Center and the city. Users can download a Microsoft Wi-Fi app that allows regular visitors to automatically connect to the platform at the highest possible speed.

Learn more about the new Wi-Fi at Seattle Center at www.seattlecenter.com/microsoftwifi.

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