Wireless Internet comes to Clearbrook Park

Posted: June 29, 2013

The Winchester Star

CLEAR BROOK — Residents visiting Clearbrook Park typically can enjoy swimming, outdoor sports, walking paths and other activities during the summer months.

This year, however, the park has a new amenity that patrons can use — free wireless Internet service.

Hans Pedersen, business developer for Winchester-based Internet and phone service provider VibeVOIP, said on Friday that the company set up free Wi-Fi at the park — just east of Interstate 81 — this week as part of a joint program with the Frederick County government.

“The goal of the pilot project is to offer a basic need of the modern citizen, which is broadband Internet connectivity,” Pedersen said.

“We worked with the county and said ‘Give us an area that’s under-served [and] we’ll blanket it with Wi-Fi and see how it goes.’”

Pedersen added that county officials have done everything they can to help VibeVOIP with the project.

Even though VibeVOIP hasn’t begun to publicly promote its Wi-Fi offerings since it is still in the early testing phase, about 40 people have logged onto the Internet using the service while at Clearbrook Park, according to Pedersen.

“The No. 1 goal is to get feedback from citizens, and that feedback will help us meet the needs of citizens in under-served areas,” he said.

Pedersen added that VibeVOIP plans to start promoting the service within the next week.

The pilot project is scheduled to continue through mid-September, but the Wi-Fi could be offered for a longer period if a demand for it is shown at the park.

During a phone interview on Friday, VibeVOIP founder Dr. Ejaz Khan, who specializes in electrophysiology, called the program a prototype that could be used to provide Internet service to other under-served areas in the county.

If Internet offerings are expanded, he said, the county could see improved economic development opportunities, since most businesses require reliable access to the Internet.

More information about VibeVOIP is available at www.vibevoip.com.

— Contact Matt Armstrong  at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com