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11/2/2018 - Upgrade Expands Free Public Internet Access

Upgrade Expands Free Public Internet Access

Fall 2018

All of Mansfield’s publicly accessible town buildings offer free onsite high-speed Internet access. This service is very popular and in response to increased usage, the Information Technology Department upgraded the system this past summer and welcomes everyone to take advantage of this free service.

During this past fiscal year (2017/2018), the system routinely served 500 or more different devices directly used by the public each weekday. The numbers tended to decrease on the weekends, but still averaged around 200 different devices per weekend day. As a result, a summer upgrade was necessary to keep up with the growing public usage.

The effort included two key parts. First, many community members bring their own device to Town facilities to connect to the free public wireless system. People frequently come with their own iPad, laptop, smartphone, or other technology. To meet this need, the system’s “access points” were enhanced. Access points are devices about the size of a shoebox that provide wireless connections. Mansfield’s system was upgraded to meet “802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO” standards. This is a technology structure that ensures even when there is a high number of different types of devices, each one still receives the best connection it can handle. This standard is a perfect fit for an active public wireless environment.

Second, many of Mansfield’s facilities also have onsite public access computers for community members that do not bring their own device. These public terminals typically include not only Internet service, but also access to Microsoft Office and printing. This summer’s project included upgrading the bandwidth available to these computers to meet growing peak usage.

The Town invites everyone to visit a municipal facility and use this free Internet access either with your own wireless device, or with one of the public access computers. For more information, including a list of all of the public internet access sites and how you can use this free system, visit http://mansfieldct.gov/InternetAccess