AUSTIN (KXAN) — When there is more than 100,000 people in Downtown Austin during South by Southwest, getting a WiFi signal on your cellphone can be a little difficult (ok, very difficult). Internet providers know the struggle is real, which is why Time Warner Cable and AT&T are rolling out technology to help make sure you are connected at all times.
For the first time in Texas, AT&T is rolling out the Luneburg Lens Antenna. The antenna is the shape of an eyeball and it’ll be placed at the Palmer Events Center. Tested at events in 2014, AT&T says the eyeball antenna was able to double the amount of data traffic that crossed its network.
Time Warner Cable will continue to offer WiFi hotspots, but this year, they’re offering everyone free access to more than 2,000 outdoor hotspots, regardless if you’re a TWC customer. You can find out where the hotspots are with this map.
Getting a better connection has been something wireless providers have been tackling for years. In 2012, a marketing firm made headlines after deploying “Homeless Hotspots,” where they outfitted 12 homeless people with equipment that turned them into walking 4G wireless hotspots.