The Case of the Mysterious Black Boxes [UPDATE: It’s Optimum Online WIFI]

CONFIRMED via The City of Long Beach: It’s for Optimum Online WiFi hotspots. 

Just when I was just about to post photos of the mysterious black boxes that recently appeared on all the north-side boardwalk lamp posts, a reader named Joel emails me with pretty much the same questions I was going to ask:2014-05-25 14.11.07

On my Boardwalk walk this AM I noticed new boxes, about 18 inches by 12 inches placed on many of the Boardwalk lampposts, above the banner ads, on the city side of the Boardwalk. They have two black squares  facing the ocean, which may be speakers or sensors of some kind. They are not at the Eastern end of the Boardwalk but on all the lampposts in the middle section. I am curious as to what they are?? Speakers? Cameras? Weather sensors? Some Government plot as a result of Obamacare 🙂

So what are they folks? My guess is WIFI. I’m going to try to find out what they are, but if you know, please by all means tell us!

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14 thoughts on “The Case of the Mysterious Black Boxes [UPDATE: It’s Optimum Online WIFI]”

  1. I look forward to hearing what they are. I am hopeful that they are Speakers – And cameras. So The police can manage the boardwalk and give fair warning to those creating issues on the boardwalk. They would need to be the entire length of the boardwalk. It would be great to feel safe to come out for a walk at night or the very early morning. But I think it might be Wi-Fi.

  2. I rememember optimum went into a deal with Long Beach’s parks dept. For free WiFi on the boardwalk. It could be that.

  3. It looks a lot like a Zoneflex Wifi Access Point from Ruckus Wireless. San Francisco rolled out that equipment on one of their tech centric streets at the end of 2013. San Fran’s is an open network, is the one the city has chosen also open or do you need an optimum account to access it?

  4. i saw optimum trucks driving on the boardwalk a few weeks ago when i was on early morning jog…didnt actually see them climbing and lamps

  5. Yes, Anthony. It’s Cablevision WiFi, for Cablevision subscribers. The antenna array is highly directional and shielded so that adjacent apartment renters won’t hijack the signal. Meanwhile, if you are a Cablevision subscriber, you’ll be able to enjoy the signal on the boardwalk and beach.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the City just once did something for its residents that wasn’t part of some money-making, backroom partisan deal?

  6. Why should the City, that doesn’t even fill potholes, provide free WiFi for anyone? Nothing is “free”, the taxpayers would have to pay for that free WiFi, and most of the people using it would be tourists at the beach – who contribute nothing to the tax base for the City.

  7. It is really a shame that the people in our city’s government and the city’s shameber of commerce are unable to think outside the box. Instead of using Cablevision for this service perhaps they could have approached a company such as CAC (who places those banners and those hideous realtor face shots around town) to see if they could have developed an advertising based solution that provided free access for all beach goers. Something as simple as when you connect to the access point you are shown a page with advertisements for local businesses “Eat at Billy’s”, “Visit Century 21 American Homes to live here all year long”, this would have provided a dual purpose of providing free WiFi while at the same time promoting local businesses.

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