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Expanded Wi-Fi service coming soon to Balboa Park

SAN DIEGO -- Expanded Wi-Fi service will soon be available in Balboa Park, Council President Todd Gloria and representatives from the Balboa Park Conservancy and Balboa Park Online Collaborative announce.

"Expanding Wi-Fi is a smart investment for Balboa Park,” Gloria said. “In addition to being convenient for park users, it allows for a stronger connection between visitors and Balboa Parkʼs events, institutions, and attractions through technology.”

For the first time, free Wi-Fi access will be available in the Central Mesa from the Spreckels Organ Pavilion to the San Diego Museum of Art. This permanently expanded Wi-Fi hot spot will enhance visitor engagement with a number of park attractions and will encompass the newly created public space in the Plaza de Panama, where visitors can enjoy free online access from the comfort of the tables and chairs recently set up there by the City.

The new Wi-Fi access will enable Balboa Park cultural organizations to engage visitors via mobile tools, such as smart phone apps, social media sites and interactive games, and to provide visitors with instant free access to online information about attractions, programming and amenities. The Wi-Fi access also positions Balboa Park institutions and event organizers to more easily broaden their reach beyond Balboa Park. For example, the Spreckels Organ Society can now move forward on a plan to offer webcasts of the free Sunday concerts in the Organ Pavilion.

Gloria and the Balboa Park Conservancy collaborated to fund the expanded Wi-Fi. Using money generated by his office budget savings, Gloria contributed $15,000 to the effort. The Balboa Park Conservancy completed the project with an allocation of $5,000. The Balboa Park Online Collaborative, which is charged with increasing the online capabilities of park institutions and co-manages www.balboapark.org, provided the technological expertise for setting up the expanded Wi-Fi hot spot and integrating it into existing public Wi-Fi areas in Balboa Park.

“This is exactly the kind of park enhancement our collaborative efforts are capable of bringing to fruition. We are extremely grateful to Council President Todd Gloria and his office, as well as to the Balboa Park Online Collaborative, for enabling us to address the growing expectations of both park visitors and park entities regarding access to and use of mobile technologies,” said Carol Chang, president of the board of the Balboa Park Conservancy.