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CL Tel and the City Connect on Wi-Fi Project

The CLTel team

A partnership blossomed in the heart of Clear Lake, transforming how the community will connect in many of its most cherished spaces.

Years of technological advancement, collaboration, vision, and community spirit by CL Tel and the City of Clear Lake have led to an exciting comprehensive project. And it all began with a simple request.

How can we reimagine public Wi-Fi to include Main Street, city parks, playgrounds and City Beach?

The story unfolded when the City approached CL Tel with a vision to enhance Wi-Fi coverage around the iconic Bandshell and the seawall. The initial request was straightforward but ambitious, aiming to improve the digital landscape for residents and visitors alike. With its commitment to community service and innovation, CL Tel saw this as a fun project and an opportunity to deepen its partnership with the City.

“Keep in mind that CL Tel donated all the staff, technology and infrastructure for this project at no cost to the city or to the public,” said Clear Lake City Administrator Scott Flory.

As the project gained momentum, it became clear that the scope of work would expand. Collaboratively, CL Tel and the City identified strategic locations to place additional Wi-Fi access points, such as the Gazebo for enhanced park coverage and the Water Treatment Plant to ensure the beach was covered. This meticulous planning and partnership ensured that the first request by the downtown area was met and exceeded.

The project’s success spurred further enhancements. New locations for Wi-Fi access points were evaluated, including areas along Main Street and the newly constructed “Everybody Plays” playground. “CL Tel didn’t just provide technical solutions,” said Flory. “As a trusted and local neighbor, they understand the unique needs of different areas such as the swimming pool and the Outdoor Recreation Complex (ORC), ensuring these spaces also enjoyed free Wi-Fi.”

But it wasn’t just about providing Wi-Fi. It was about creating a Wi-Fi network to support the community, from security needs to ensuring parents and visitors could stay connected without relying solely on cellular data. Imagine streaming a show, using FaceTime or working from your laptop while sitting on a bench along the seawall.

As seasons changed, so did the project’s challenges. Foliage in the spring and summer slowed down speeds. Adequate power for routers and antennas was essential. Both parties understood that free Wi-Fi in these areas would not compare to in-home Wi-Fi. Yet, through every obstacle, the partnership between CL Tel and the City of Clear Lake remained focused on providing not just coverage but quality and reliability. CL Tel technicians tested broadband speeds every 20 to 30 feet during several testing phases.

This partnership went beyond technology; it was a testament to mutual support and collaboration. “When we needed access for maintenance or encountered an issue, CL Tel was there, demonstrating the true spirit of a community-focused partnership,” said Flory. “They donated specialized equipment and expertise for essential infrastructure like water and sewer lines at the ORC. They ensured that even the more minor details, such as the optimal height for access points, were meticulously planned.”

From Main Street to the lake’s edge, this partnership has enhanced Wi-Fi coverage for residents and visitors. It stands as a model of how technology and community can come together to create spaces where everyone can connect, play, and enjoy the beauty of Clear Lake. “My hope is that this brings smiles of satisfied residents and visitors enjoying every corner of Clear Lake,” said Flory.

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