Long-awaited Wi-Fi service coming to waterfront
Published 2:53 pm Sunday, September 3, 2017
Once the Washington downtown/waterfront Wi-Fi installation project begins, it should take about 90 days to complete, according to David Carraway, the city’s information-technology director.
During the City Council’s Aug. 14 meeting, Carraway provided a project update to the mayor and council members. The city’s current budget includes $20,000 to help launch the downtown/waterfront Wi-Fi service.
“I feel confident we can get it (within 90 days), but there are always snags here and there, but I hope to be able to accomplish that,” Carraway said.
Councilman Doug Mercer asked Carraway how he is going to track project costs.
“I pretty much know what the cost is, as we stand right now. After we get it up and running, the only cost — monthly cost, recurring cost — is going to be for the cable, and I already know what that is,” he said.
Mercer asked Carraway if the installation work could be accomplished with the $20,000 earmarked for it in the city’s budget.
“Those numbers are fixed. I have verified every one,” Carraway said.
The Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, the Washington Harbor District Alliance and the Washington Tourism Development Authority have agreed to pay the recurring costs. Spokesmen for the three organizations have said Wi-Fi in the downtown/waterfront area will enhance visits to the area by residents, tourists and boaters.
Each of the three organizations agreed to commit $3,000 to help the city bring public Wi-Fi service to downtown Washington and promote it. Also, each entity agreed to provide one-third of the recurring annual costs for each year of the three-year contract term.
The Wi-Fi system’s firewall will have the ability to incorporate a splash screen to enable users to register with a user name and password to access the wireless network, according to a memorandum Carraway sent to the mayor and council members. The system will have four access points.
“It is the plan of the Information Technology department … to conduct monthly meetings with the principals involved as to the status of the project and to conduct monthly meetings to evaluate performance of the network, tweak the firewall and bandwidth per this committee’s approval & to incorporate suggestions moving forward,” Carraway wrote in the memorandum.
Council member William Pitt, who has pushed the project for several years, asked about the project’s “live date.”
Carraway did not give a specific date to launch the Wi-Fi service, saying it should be up and running with 90 days.