Pitt pushes for WiFiPublished 9:02pm Thursday, August 22, 2013
Washington City Councilman William Pitt says the city is missing one important utility: free broadband wireless service.
“You can have water. You can have electricity. But without WiFi, you really don’t have economic development. WiFi is the third element of economic development,” he said.
Pitt said wiring downtown would increase traffic in the area and attract new businesses.
He said the longer Washington goes without WiFi, the more it pushes patrons away. Pitt said he has often chosen a place to eat based on whether it has WiFi. He listed a handful of local restaurants that offer WiFi to their patrons.
“We used to look at which restaurants had air conditioning. The AC was the reason you went to a restaurant,” he said. “And I think WiFi is the new air conditioning.”
Pitt said schools were heading toward supplying computers to each student, but too many were still without Internet for Beaufort County to make any progress in that direction.
“You can’t take your kid to McDonald’s to do homework everyday,” he said.
For the past several years, companies like EarthLink and AT&T have been looking at rural towns as viable new markets for WiFi.
Pitt said many North Carolina cities have taken the plunge into WiFi and there are WiFi funding avenues he wants the city to explore.
“I think we owe it to ourselves, to our city, to look at what’s the best thing we can do,” Pitt said. “It’s almost a necessity.”