Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Citywide WiFi. No Really. Stop Laughing.

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 1:35 PM

If you’re reading this on the Peninsula, odds are you’re either paying for Internet access or stealing it from your neighbor. But there’s hope! The City of Charleston is looking to amend its agreement with Widespread Access for free WiFi access on the peninsula.

The City signed a five-year deal with Access and it’s partner, Evening Post Publishing (the parent company of the Post and Courier), in 2005 for the internet access that was expected to cover the Peninsula, but has since trickled out to only about 200 users as of January, according to P&C reporter Kyle Stock.

City staff had hoped to have an amendment to the agreement ready for City Council approval this week, but that’s been delayed with the city and the contractors at odds over changes.

The City can’t elaborate on the necessary changes because the parties are still working to resolve differences, says staffer Ernest Adrade, but he said that the amount of hardware is going to have to be dramatically increased to produce “a more substantial and much more attractive” WiFi system.

If an agreement can’t be reached, Andrade said the city may have to look at other options.

“It doesn’t behove us to keep things limping along,” he said.

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