Wi-Fi phases
The Ogden City website shows the four phases of the free downtown Wi-Fi plan. The project will be completed by December 2015. (Source: Ogden City)

Ogden City launched a free Wi-Fi network last month that will soon cover the entire downtown area.

The project will be done in four phases and will be completed by December 2015, city officials say. Phase one of the Wi-Fi coverage has already been implemented and is available near the Ogden Latter-day Saint Temple.

“I didn’t know they were installing free Wi-Fi, but I like free Wi-Fi,” WSU freshman Hannah Hoxer said.

The city has teamed up with the Los Angeles-based Internet infrastructure company WebNX. A data center was just opened in the Business Depot of Ogden as the company’s secondary location.

“The real estate in Ogden is a great value,” said Marc Rosenthal, WebNX head of business development and finance. “Add to that a really business-friendly atmosphere and a city that is great to work with, and it just makes sense to do business here.”

Part of the city’s request for this Wi-Fi project was to partner with a company that could provide the service at no cost to users or the city. “WebNX has done exactly that and we are happy to do business with them,” Ogden City IT Operations Manager Andy Lefgren said.

“Creating a free Wi-Fi network over a large portion of the downtown area will give citizens far more Internet access,” Lefgren said. “The municipal wireless network provides greater access in more places and at speeds up to four times faster than the average home user is able to purchase presently.”

WebNX promised the city a dedicated 10Gbps bandwidth feed and has donated all the necessary equipment. The free Internet service can be accessed by anyone in the area, including downtown businesses.

“Ogden is a great place for tech businesses because of its superior IT workforce created in large part by Weber State University,” Ogden City Business Development Division Manager Terrence Bride said.

The free Wi-Fi in Ogden is getting national attention, due to articles in the Miami Herald and the Washington Times.

“I think that will draw the flow of the more tech-savvy generations to Downtown Ogden,” WSU junior Alex Johnson said.

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