connected communities

Connected Communities are the Now

There are 23.4 million hotspots across America right now. But to say that we live in a connected country would be misleading. The majority of these hotspots are isolated oases of WiFi amongst a desert of disconnection. It doesn’t have to be this way. The technology to create smart, connected cities through WiFi isn’t in the future; it exists right now. GoZone already delivers Smart WiFi to cities, neighborhoods and communities worldwide.

A connected city is a model that works for everyone, from the local businesses and economic development councils, to tourism boards and even city infrastructure departments. And — most important of all — the citizens of the city.

What keeps municipalities from making the leap to become smart, connected destinations? City officials cite budget constraints, lack of resources, and policy hurdles as the three top barriers to implementing smart WiFi solutions.

I disagree. I think the greatest barrier is the one they listed at the bottom. “Short-term mindset.” Not on the part of the municipality officials, necessarily. The responsibility to deliver new models and solutions falls to those of us in the WiFi industry. We are the experts of our technology. We need to think way outside the box to show cities how it can work for them.

GoZone WiFi has launched a new model that blankets a district, or an entire city, with public WiFi. This model establishes WiFi as a public service, but it also monetizes guest WiFi and provides valuable insights for the businesses that sponsor the service.

SMB Sponsorship Model Removes Cost Barrier

Launching city-wide public WiFi can be an expensive endeavor. Consider not just the cost of installing all of the equipment, but the ongoing provider costs. Every year, a large city could spend millions on this public service.

Or, it could deploy a mutually-beneficial WiFi sponsorship model to local businesses.

Consider a main street in a vibrant downtown area. A global destination and ideal urban living place. Rooted in a rich history of pioneering and industry, the district is a beautiful environment that promotes a connected, active community, with plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, retailers and other local businesses. Most of these businesses offer traditional, limited value guest WiFi, protected behind a password.

Nobody likes passwords. Employees have to remember them. Customers have to ask for them. Business owners have to change them every time their data is compromised. Moreover, traditional guest WiFi has no marketing or advertising opportunities and provides basically worthless analytical data.

By rolling out Smart WiFi across the main street district as part of a community business initiative, each local business receives a new marketing and customer analytics platform, a more secure network through a captive portal login system, and greater control of WiFi usage within their establishment. The customers receive easy access to guest WiFi without the need for passwords.

The district now boasts ubiquitous WiFi access for its residents and visitors, without the city having to shoulder the cost of the entire network. In this shared business-to-municipality model, each business receives customer data for remarketing, and district leaders have access to district-wide analytics and guest demographics.

Budget constraints? Solved.

Sponsorship Model Solves the Resources Issue

If a city implements free, public WiFi internally, it is a logistical and resource-planning nightmare. By partnering with a WiFi Solutions company, communities can remove that barrier quickly. For example, GoZone WiFi installed all of the required controllers and worked directly with the local service provider.

A Smart WiFi platform is only as useful as you make it, so we took the next step to make sure every local business that signed up received our full onboarding experience and access to our resources. This is exactly the kind of service customers should expect from providers. Even a turnkey, cloud-based product has an associated learning and ramp-up period. Whether you’re Times Square or Mike’s Coffee & Donuts, you should expect your smart WiFi provider to make sure you’re getting the most out of your new tool.

Lack of resources? We’ve got that covered. We know smart cities are the NOW, not the future. For municipalities ready to lead the charge, the final barrier is policy work. Here too, it helps to have a partner.

Writing Policies For the Future

Government officials have a reputation for being resistant to change. The farther up the government chain of command you go, the more resistance you’re apt to experience. Part of this is due to a lack of trusted, expert information.

Cities can lead the charge for change by bringing their telecommunications and Smart WiFi solutions providers to the table. Present the challenges to an audience that has a pulse on the technology available (and soon to be available), that live in your communities, and work with your local businesses. Work collaboratively with your trusted, expert vendors to inform new policies.

It is our responsibility as the ambassadors of WiFi to help craft its future. And it’s present. To do so, we need to look at the reasons why an industry — or a city — is resistant to adoption, and then present new solutions that tear those barriers down.

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Custom Splash Page Builder

A custom splash page helps give a captive portal the branded look it needs to stand out from the crowd and give guests the peace of mind they’re accessing the network associated with the venue they’re visiting.

WiFi Payments and Vouchers

Offer premium guest WiFi access and promote WiFi upgrades with comprehensive payment and voucher modules. Payments can be used to offer guests varying speeds of WiFi access, while vouchers are great for venues that want to utilize a captive portal that also requires a voucher code for WiFi access.
WiFi payments and vouchers

Guest Plans

Venues can now offer multiple levels of guest WiFi access with our Guest Plan feature. Guest Plans are defined by specific upload and download speeds and session time limits. Brick-and-mortar businesses can offer guest WiFi access and promote WiFi upgrades with our new payment and voucher modules.

Versatile Form Builder

Create and display custom guest surveys on any splash page of your guest flow. Collect feedback and gather additional data points to create smarter marketing.

Enhanced Guest Flow

Guest flow gives venues complete control over the guest WiFi experience. Guest flows help keep a visually pleasing captive portal experience by preventing clutter of multiple marketing assets. Keep it simple, or turn your WiFi into a digital billboard.
WiFi splash page with survey social login

Integrated Ad Spaces

Ad Space Integrations is a powerful feature for venues who want to promote products, deals and specials, online shopping, loyalty programs and other signups, or third-party advertisers all on a pre-authenticated Splash Page.

Increase impressions and clicks for advertising opportunities by showcasing AdSpaces before requiring a guest to connect to WiFi.

Have an app that needs more downloads? The URL redirect function will navigate guests to the app store specific to their device as soon as they click on the advertisement/call-to-action button.

No more will guests have to wait to connect to WiFi to reach interactive ads. Ad Space Integrations takes Ads4WiFi smart advertising tools and places it our smart marketing environment powered by Marketing4WiFi.

Hotspot Scheduler

Determine the specific days and times that WiFi is available to guests. Hotspot Scheduler offers smarter WiFi control by allowing venues to run their guest WiFi during business hours.