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Downtown Hickory

CommScope, City of Hickory celebrate new public Wi-Fi downtown

Visitors to Union Square in Downtown Hickory can now enjoy free public Wi-Fi thanks to a generous $275,000 product donation by Hickory-based CommScope.

To celebrate the activation of the Wi-Fi service, the public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting and naming dedication for “The CommScope Stage” at the new Union Square multipurpose shade structure on Tuesday, June 1, at noon.

In May 2020, Hickory City Council officially accepted the product donation from CommScope and approved a public facility naming request to honor the sizable donation and its impact to the community.

“The City of Hickory is very fortunate to be home to a global communications networks provider that invests locally to improve the lives of its neighbors here in Hickory,” said Hickory City Manager Warren Wood.

“The installation of public Wi-Fi downtown further promotes the connectivity we are building throughout the city with the Hickory Trail and our other bond projects. Thanks to CommScope’s significant donation and continued partnership with the City, Hickory residents and visitors will be able to stay connected for work or recreational purposes while enjoying the enhanced atmosphere and amenities of our renovated Union Square,” added Hickory Mayor Hank Guess.

CommScope provided various connectivity technologies to the Union Square Wi-Fi project. The City of Hickory will cover ongoing maintenance and the annual service contract.

Donated products and services from CommScope and its affiliates included the following:

  • The RUCKUS T310 and T710 outdoor access points are designed to provide high-density Wi-Fi connectivity to outdoor public venues because these locations have the most demanding wireless requirements. Thirty-two access points were provided for this project.
  • The RUCKUS ICX 7650 high-performance switches allow the volume of wireless data traffic from devices connected to the Wi-Fi access points to travel faster through a service provider’s network. Two of these devices were deployed in the city’s network and now serve as the high-speed backbone for the Union Square outdoor wireless installation.
  • A SmartZone 100 Controller is a single wired and wireless network management user interface for deploying, monitoring, and troubleshooting the access points and switches.
  • The Powered Fiber Cable System distributes power and fiber through the same cable to anywhere a network connection and power are required. It delivers low-voltage power from a centralized source without the need to install extra conduits, transformers, or remote uninterrupted power supplies. Approximately 24,600 feet of cable were donated to this project.
  • Comprehensive installation services by Segra, a CommScope partner and one of the largest independent fiber network companies in the Eastern U.S.

Downtown guests have access to Wi-Fi signal throughout the Union Square plaza and in part of Lowes Foods City Park. To connect to the public Wi-Fi, downtown guests should look for “DowntownHickory-PublicWiFi” in the list of available networks.

“Whether they’re in the ground, inside buildings, or traveling through the air, communication networks must evolve to meet the demands of an increasingly connected society,” said Burk Wyatt, Chief Legal Officer of CommScope, who is soon to retire after more than 25 years with the company. Mr. Wyatt also serves as chairman of the City’s Bond Commission.

“People expect the apps on their smartphones and tablets to work without any interruption of service,” Wyatt continued. “With CommScope being founded in Hickory more than 40 years ago, we are honored to help the residents and visitors of Hickory’s Union Square remain connected by donating our RUCKUS Wi-Fi solutions to this important project. This donation helps demonstrate that CommScope supports the City’s Bond Commission efforts to continue to improve and revitalize our community.”