Glenwood has Internet with no strings attached
Post Independent Staff
The Community Broadband Network has Paul Braunschweig’s number.
And it can call anytime.
“I have equipment watching all of our wireless sites and our routers. If anything goes down, it will call me on my cell,” said Braunschweig, broadband superintendent for the city of Glenwood Springs. “There’s an alert system that will tell me what systems are not responding ” it will actually talk to me. We have full 24-7 monitoring to ensure system availability.”
The high-speed fiber optics network, installed in Glenwood in 2002, has recently been updated throughout the city to provide better distance and coverage.
“We have the newer stuff up now and have further reach,” Braunschweig said. “We’ve also added some extra security so people don’t come into the park and hack. We were getting a lot of Spam generating from those locations.”
The city of Glenwood Springs offers free WiFi access at Centennial, Sayre, Two Rivers and Veltus parks, the Glenwood Springs Branch Library and the Glenwood Springs Community Center.
“You can actually be 300 to 400 feet from the gazebo in Sayre Park, which covers almost the entire park. You can sit at most of the picnic tables and use it,” Braunschweig said. “We decided to offer access at the Glenwood Library and the Community Center so people would have a place to go in the winter.”
Glenwood businesses including Dos Hombres Restaurant, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Iron Mountain Tramway, many of the city’s hotels, Sacred Grounds Coffee House and Deli, Subway stores, Summit Canyon Mountaineering Coffee Shoppe, and Moe’s and Marble Slab Creamery in Glenwood Meadows also offer secure wireless access.
“The developer of Meadows actually paid to have fiber in the businesses,” Braunschweig said. “Fifty-six buildings in Meadows will all be on fiber. We’ve extended our fiber optics so we’ve doubled or tripled over the last year.”
For Tory Jensen, co-owner and partner of Moe’s Southwest Grill, which opened in late March in Meadows, joining the Community Broadband Network is a perk for his customers.
“It’s a good choice for us. It’s a very quick, fast service,” Jensen said. “It’s something we would like to promote. I use it a fair amount myself.”
Braunschweig said he recently had a lunch meeting at Moe’s where Internet access came in handy.
“If you’re in a meeting it’s nice to open up your notebook and work during a meeting and fix things at lunch,” he said. “We’ve had a few delivery people who tell us they pull over and use it to send e-mails or submit their daily reports.”
The network is also an incentive for those living in areas where only dial-up connections are available to spend some extra time in Glenwood.
“Being in a mountainous community, there’s still a lot of areas that only have dial-up,” Braunschweig said. “We’ve got a lot of people who live out in the middle of nowhere and stop by the park to download e-mails and send e-mails.”
The free wireless hotspots allow multiple users to access the Internet while at the same location.
“Most of them will support 25 to 30 people at once with no problem,” Braunschweig said.
To ensure people are logging on to the city’s no-charge broadband access, Braunschweig said users should check to see if their IDs say “City Glenwood” followed by the words “Free Access.” CityNet LLC, a high-speed wireless service provider based in Panama City, Fla., offers high-speed wireless network ” for a charge.
“CityNet is a franchise out of Florida, a company that basically sells access to people,” Braunschweig said. “They can get kind of pricey.”
Braunschweig said the city has led the way in introducing free municipal broadband service in other communities.
“Glenwood Springs was the 13th city in the United States to do this,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of cities contact us. Philadelphia, San Francisco, they’re all doing it now.”
For more information about the Glenwood Springs Community Broadband Network, visit gscbn.com online.
Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518
Free wireless Internet access is available in Glenwood Springs at:
– Centennial, Sayre, Two Rivers and Veltus parks
– Dos Hombres Restaurant
– Glenwood Springs Branch Library
– Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park and Iron Mountain Tramway
– Glenwood Springs Community Center
– Hotels including: AmericInn (opening in June), Caravan Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Quality Inn and Red Mountain Inn
– Meadows locations including Moe’s and Marble Slab Creamery
– Sacred Grounds Coffee House and Deli
– Subway stores
– Summit Canyon Mountaineering Coffee Shoppe
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