Northern Virginians on the go now have more places to tap into WiFi.
Cox Communications launched more than 750 wireless Internet hotspots this week across Fairfax County, available for free to its Internet customers and soon at a small fee to others.
Three of the hotspots are in the Vienna area. (See map at right).
U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-11th) attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Northern Virginia this week along with Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and other local officials.
“In today’s technology-driven society and economy, ready access to broadband is essential and Northern Virginia continues to be a leader in this field thanks to the investments of Cox and other regional internet providers,” Connolly said in a statement.
The 769 hotspots, scattered throughout Northern Virginia, are live and operational. They can be found in locations such as cafes, parks, malls, commercial districts and other areas in which large groups might congregate. (Click here to find locations in Fairfax County and Fairfax City.)
Cox Internet customers who subscribe to the service’s top three tiers – Preferred, Premier and Ultimate – will be able to access the Web in these locations simply by inputting their Cox user ID and password into their laptops, smart phones or tablets.
The WiFi service will feature download speeds of up to 15Mbps and upload speeds of up to 4Mbps.
Officials said that expansion plans for the service are already in the works.
In the coming months, non-Cox customers could be able to use the service on a pay-per-use basis. Officials were also mulling over opening up the network for promotional events such as concerts.
They are also looking into opening the network during emergencies and “catastrophes.”
“The demand for mobile services continues to grow – both for work and personal use – and this trend will only continue.The explosion of smartphones and tablets into the marketplace has driven the public’s desire to be connected whether you are at home, the office, your child’s school, the shopping mall or on an airplane," Connolly said.