[aprssig] dayton WIFI

Wes Johnston aprs at kd4rdb.com
Mon Apr 4 15:07:13 EDT 2005

 Won't this make dayton hamfest fun!

Dayton Moves to Create Wireless Environment
‘Hot City’ Initiative Upholds Dayton’s Legacy of Innovation

/Release Date: Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Contact: Bill Hill, Director of ITS, 333-6304/

True to its spirit of innovation, the City of Dayton is moving forward
with creating a wireless environment that would allow residents and
visitors in open spaces within the city limits to access the Internet
from their portable computers and related devices at no cost.

At today’s public meeting, the Dayton City Commission approved testing
new wireless fidelity (“WiFi”) services in a limited test area over the
next few months before deciding to pursue expansion of the technology
citywide. The move makes Dayton the first city in Ohio to initiate
citywide, edge-to-edge WiFi coverage. Dayton also becomes the first city
nationally to offer a public-private partnership WiFi model that is not
funded by taxpayers and comes at no charge to the end user.

Commissioners Joey Williams and Matt Joseph have been strong advocates
for using technology to enhance services and quality of life issues for
citizens. Both Commissioners were instrumental in bringing this effort
to fruition.

“The opportunities available through WiFi technology are tremendous,”
Commissioner Williams said. “The easier we make it for residents and
businesses to access the Internet and related electronic mediums, the
more competitive we become. We also believe offering this type of
exciting, pioneering service will go a long way toward helping Dayton
attract that ‘creative class’ of people who will help fuel our
community’s future success.”

“In addition to offering Internet access for free to residents and
visitors, I am excited about the economic development opportunities this
new venture presents,” Commissioner Joseph said. “This type of
technological asset will help attract businesses and workers interested
in the open environment Dayton will offer. This has long-term
implications for Dayton’s continued growth as a center for technology
and innovation.”

The Dayton City Commission approved a test agreement with HarborLink
Network to test and prove a WiFi meshed architecture within an
approximately one square-mile area of downtown, which includes the
Oregon Business District, RiverScape, Fifth Third Field, Webster
Station, and Tech Town areas. The WiFi infrastructure will be located
within the City’s public rights of way and on specific City-owned
facilities. Within this test area, people will be able to access the
Internet at no cost on streets, sidewalks and greenspaces. The initial
test agreement with HarborLink will allow the City of Dayton to make
determinations about expanding WiFi services throughout the community.
If the City decides to expand citywide, it is anticipated that “Requests
for Proposals” (RFP) will be solicited from interested vendors by the
middle of 2005.

“Dayton remains at the cutting edge of using technology to enhance the
lives of our residents and businesses,” Mayor Rhine McLin said. “John
Patterson, the Wright Brothers and Charles Kettering would be proud of
the innovative step we are taking to put technology at people’s
fingertips. Dayton is working to break down the barriers of the digital
divide, without burdening taxpayers in the process. I want to especially
recognize Commissioners Joey Williams and Matt Joseph for their
leadership role in making this project possible.”

“Obviously, the world is becoming more mobile, and the new technology
worker expects to be able to conduct business wherever they happen to
be,” Commissioner Williams pointed out.

Commissioner Joseph added, “We want to position this city for everyone
that may benefit from this technology. We are not talking about a ‘Hot
Spot’ here, but rather a ‘Hot City’!”

Bill Hill, the City of Dayton’s Director of Information and Technology
Services, will be coordinating this new initiative. He cited several
benefits of free WiFi technology within the city limits.

“We may someday be able to utilize this service for some City functions
where our own workforce needs to be able to electronically complete and
submit their work orders for processing. We also believe we can leverage
this opportunity for future technological advancements in the areas of
WiFi enabled phones, automated meter reading (AMR), automated vehicle
location (AVL), and mug-shot and fingerprint transmission capabilities
for our public safety forces, just to name a few.”

According to Hill, accessing the Internet through WiFi technology is
similar to using a computer or other device hooked up to a typical
dedicated Internet service. Anyone with a WiFi enabled laptop, PDA, or
telephone will be able to take advantage of this service. Almost every
laptop produced today comes with built-in wireless capability, and many
older laptops can accept a wireless card to allow them to work in this
environment. Users will connect to the Internet after acknowledging a
disclaimer page that automatically appears from HarborLink.

“Our public/private partnership with HarborLink in this testing phase
will prove the concept of a free service to our citizens,” Hill said.
“HarborLink will basically offer some advertising to the end user to
offset the cost that would normally have been passed on to the user.
This allows the service to be offered at no cost. The City will be
leveraging access to areas on City-owned facilities and in the rights of
way to allow installation of the access points. The City will also be
providing the backhaul connectivity to the Internet. Quite a small
investment for such a great possibility.”

Hill said the City would provide minimal financial commitment to the
project in the form of Internet accessibility costs via the City’s
existing network. He estimated that a few spots in the downtown test
area would be activated during the holiday season, with the remaining
infrastructure put in place over the next several months. The majority
of the test area should be active and accessible to users by April 1.
Hill emphasized that this WiFi effort will target open, outdoor spaces
and not compete against existing wireless providers who serve business
and residential customers.

“Offering wireless capabilities in the city will only strengthen
Dayton’s position as a destination point for high-tech and cutting-edge
companies,” said JP Nauseef, Chief Operating Officer of the Dayton
Development Coalition. “The Dayton Development Coalition certainly
applauds and supports the City’s aggressive steps to go wireless. I
cannot overemphasize the strategic value such a move creates for
marketing Dayton as a great place to live and work.”

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