Minor glitches slow start-up of public Wi-Fi

Published 8:25 pm Thursday, December 14, 2017



Some minor hiccups are causing a delay in installing the free public Wi-Fi in Washington’s downtown/waterfront area.

David Carraway, the city’s information-technology director, discussed the problems during his presentation to the City Council on Monday.

“We have hung a majority off all the access points downtown. They are communicating back to City Hall. We are continuing to run testing. As in my memo, we did run into an issue with the access point we were going to put on promenade,” Carraway said. “I was under the interpretation that there was power on one or two of the poles down there. Come to find out, there is not.”

Carraway said he thought at least one of those poles had power because he thought he observed a grinder (being used by a painter) plugged into one of the poles. “That was my mistake,” he said.

Carraway said he hopes the access point on the promenade will be up and running within several days. “Our procedures are going to be to continue testing, make sure the software is up and running correctly, the firewall is accessible, (determine) signal strength from each access point. Then we’ll s slowly start putting it out. Currently, right now, that’s where we’re at,” Carraway said.

Councilman Doug Mercer asked Carraway if a policy regarding a time limit on use of the Wi-Fi is in place. “Yes, sir. We’ve been throwing around some different time restraints. The committee, we haven’t got back together yet. I’m looking at 15 minutes, but some of the committee members have said 30 minutes. We’ll figure out something,” Carraway replied.

Council member William Pitt asked if Washington officials checked with other cities and towns with pubic Wi-Fi to determine if they impose time limits. Carraway said those inquiries were made, with time limits varying from 10 minutes to 45 minutes.

When Washington’s Wi-Fi is ready for use, a person would register with a username and password, Carraway said. The city will monitor use of the pubic Wi-Fi, in part to determine if some users should be denied access because of improper use of the system.





About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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