Vail signs unique Wi-Fi deal

SkyPilot Networks has announced that the Town of Vail awarded CenturyTel the contract to build and operate the Wi-Fi network, powered by SkyPilot equipment, for the Colorado ski resort destination. Residents, businesses and visitors will be able to get free Internet access up to 300Kbps (kilobits per second) anywhere in town in one hour increments by the end of 2006. Faster Internet service with speeds up to 3Mbps (megabits per second) will be available with pay plans for daily, weekly or monthly access.

Vail is the first Colorado city to move ahead with this type of partnership to build a municipal Wi-Fi network. The town selected CenturyTel to build its system following a competitive bid process that included proposals from six other companies. The agreement was unanimously approved by the Vail Town Council at its July 18th meeting.

“Vail is a premier resort community thanks to its high quality year-round activities and a broad range of vacation amenities,” Bob Machlin, SkyPilot president and CEO, said. “We are happy to partner with CenturyTel to bring the technology that enables this free public Wi-Fi access and scaleable municipal communications network that will allow Vail to continue to improve its leading-edge community.”

Leveraging SkyPilot technology, CenturyTel and the Town of Vail worked together to develop additional services, such as a Public Safety network and a private network for city workers. With these elements, the Town’s first responders and other public safety officials, as well as town employees will be able to securely connect to their internal networks and the Internet.

“We will have a state-of-the-art system that benefits everyone - residents, businesses, guests and our public safety personnel,” said Vail Mayor Rod Slifer. “This is the kind of innovation that continues to differentiate Vail from other ski resort destinations.”

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The Wi-Fi network coverage will include the town limits/boundary of the Town of Vail. The network will deliver an affordable world-class Internet service to Vail residents, businesses and visitors. The citywide wireless system will utilize SkyPilot’s SkyGateways and SkyExtenders, delivering the latest in advanced carrier-grade mesh networking.
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