Project to Bring Wi-Fi to a Park Near You

No one would think twice about finding a water fountain in a public park, and if a University of Maryland research team has its way, free-flowing Wi-Fi could soon complement Frisbee games and picnics as another everyday amenity in urban green spaces. NCSG Staff Kimberly Fisher and Tara Burke are research team members.

Nirupam Roy, an assistant professor of computer science and expert in wireless networking and mobile computing, is leading a project funded by a $150,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) award to expand Wi-Fi infrastructure in area parks. The goal is to develop a new wireless architecture that would expand access to Wi-Fi in neighborhoods with low coverage as well as help keep communication lines open during disasters.

The need for new approaches to ensure internet access and bridge society’s “digital divide” became clear to Roy last year when instruction shifted online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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