Free Wifi Coming Downtown

Downtown Fort Wayne – Free WiFi

Free downtown WiFi coming by end of year

Later this year downtown residents, employees and visitors should be able to access the Internet wirelessly, and for free.

The Fort Wayne Board of Works on Wednesday approved an agreement with Frontier Communications to let the company provide WiFi service throughout downtown.

Company spokesman Roscoe Spencer said while final details are being determined, the company plans to to roll out free wireless Internet access through much of what residents consider downtown.

The service will be in two tiers: a baseline system throughout downtown, and areas with higher speeds to allow people to view movies or play games online. According to city officials, the higher speeds will be available at Freimann Square and One Summit Square.

Because Fort Wayne is such a critical market for the company, Spencer said it wanted to provide a service to display its capabilities, calling downtown a natural location.

“Downtown is a really nice congregating area for people,” he said.

The company unveiled a similar program in Terra Haute previously.

The program also will allow downtown businesses to connect to the system for a subscription fee.

Spencer said Frontier will work with businesses interested in providing wireless access in their buildings and develop a plan appropriate for each company.

The area being outfitted with wireless Internet is bordered by Clay Street to the east, Broadway to the west, Headwaters Park to the north and Lewis Street to the south, according to city officials.

Frank Suarez, city spokesman, said the city will pay nothing for the service. In fact, the company will pay the city a minimal charge depending on how much space it uses to place Internet signals on downtown traffic lights.

The city announced a contract with Indiana Data Center in 2006 to provide wireless Internet access at several locations, including some downtown. The city paid the company $29,400 for the service this year.

After Frontier unveils its Internet access, Suarez said the city will evaluate its options. Wireless Internet locations under the Indiana Data Center plan could be moved to other locations should Frontier’s Internet meet all the downtown needs, according to Suarez.

Spencer said the exact schedule for Frontier’s wireless rollout has not been set but it should happen “well before” year’s end. He said more information will be released as it becomes available.

-Journal Gazette

Original article can be found HERE

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Categories: Economic Development, Tourism

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