PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new robust wi-fi system is now online at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and Rhode Island Convention Center. And, while some of the services are free, those who want to go blazing fast will have to chip in.
The arena and convention center have invested nearly $2 million beefing up the wi-fi system in both buildings, said Larry Lepore, the general manager for both centers.
Lepore said management saw the need to bring guests the type of speeds they get in similar facilities elsewhere.
With the new system – which is operated by Cox Communications – users will still have access to free wi-fi.
“Guests at the arena get to use three megs of wi-fi, which is about the highest speed that you can get, for free, for a total of four hours,” Lepore said.
At the Rhode Island Convention Center, users can connect to wi-fi for free for 30 minutes. After that time, the system will reset and users will have to re-connect.
For those requiring more oomph, the Convention Center offers stronger, higher-speed service – but it comes with a price.
Users will be asked to pay $9.99 for four hours of a higher-speed connection.
Lepore said that’s mostly used for vendors who are exhibiting at an event.
“They may be using credit card machines to sell products, and they would need a higher speed, and that’s something that we would capitalize on to help pay for the system,” Lepore said. “When vendors come in here and they need high-speed wi-fi, we of course charge for that like any other convention center.”
For those who choose not to connect to wi-fi at all, Lepore said they have you covered.
He said direct antenna service brings mobile connections directly into the buildings from the major wireless carriers, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint. “You’ll be able to get five bars in the building.”
Some events also prompt the calling in of technicians to add the ability for people to upload more data, Lepore said, “so that it wouldn’t slow the system down.”
The convention center installation was done in September 2017, and the Dunk was done in January.