Maxis are re-opening the floodgates to beta testers on Saturday February 16 (from 6am PST) for 24 hours. Applications to become a beta tester have also been re-opened to the public. If you’re already registered, you will hopefully be sent a new key that’s valid for the second beta.
This second beta will be largely identical to the first, with only minor game-play enhancements and bug fixes made. The ‘Beta 2 FAQ‘ cites improvements in the game when they use the zoning and road tools as the primary end-user noticeable changes.
Why the second beta? Those shiny new servers Maxis have deployed to handle the flow of players need to be stress tested. Especially if EA want to avoid another Diablo-esque first day server meltdown.