CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden visitors can now connect to family and friends using the zoo's new Wi-Fi network.
Zoo officials announced the "ZooFreeWiFi" network will be available in parks, coffee shops, museums, libraries, hotels, city centers, breweries and even churches to make it as easy as possible for guests to share photos and videos.
"It has become an expectation and it makes sense for the most instagrammed location in Ohio," said Cincinnati Zoo's Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Chad Yelton. "If our visitors use it to show family and friends that they're having a great time at the zoo or share an interesting animal fact or conservations message that they've learned, we've touched an expanded audience in the most effective way."
The zoo said its hoping the new Wi-Fi will boost on-site engagement through Facebook and Twitter. Visitor-generated photos tagged with #CincyZooPic are entered into weekly contests.
The network was engineered by Powernet and funded by a grant from an anonymous donor. Staff said the network can handle 10,000 concurrent clients and support 30,000 overall zoo visitors on 1GB transport throughout the entire facility. The 170 access points were hidden to blend into the zoo environment.
"The Cincinnati Zoo project was unique and exciting for Powernet," said Powernet CEO Alli Stevens. "Our engineering team met the challenge to design an outstanding technical solution that maintains the aesthetics of the Zoo's natural habitats. We look forward to continued work with the Zoo to create new ways for the public to enjoy the Zoo."
Benefits of the zoo's Wi-Fi include less wait time to board the train, network-connected surveys, digital waiver forms and manageable wheelchair and stroller rentals.