Fayetteville dips toe in Wi Fi ocean | Street Jazz

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fayetteville dips toe in Wi Fi ocean

Posted By on Wed, Jun 6, 2007 at 11:57 AM

It looks as though the city of Fayetteville may finally be able to offer free public Wi Fi service to the people of Fayetteville. This will trump the efforts of other cities - such as Bentonville - which offer Wi Fi on the Bentonville square. I believe that by offering citywide service, Fayetteville will be truly progressive.

I have to tell you at this point that I am the chair of Fayetteville's Telecommunications Board. Sometimes the City Council follows the advice of citizen advisory boards - sometimes it doesn't. It's a real crap shoot.

For the most part, the Telecommm Board has performed valuable  service to the city over the past 15 years or so.

A lot of people think, "Wow, the Telecomm Board, fighting for freedom of speech!" Well, sometimes. But most of the time it is like cramming for a monthly science test. You just hope you've studied enough to be able to ask - and sometimes answer - the right questions. The whole world of telecommunications is changing rapidly - TV over your computer, over your phone, and wireless Internet, just to mention a few changes.

And then there are the meetings - the endless meetings about Government Channel policies and procedures. The long discussions about the what exactly constitutes a roundtable discussion, a public issue forum, or the meaning of "partisan" programming. At times you miss the old days, when you could just stand up and make a passionate speech about freedom speech.

Well, the nuts and bolts of policies and procedures help guarantee free speech - on television, at least - in Fayetteville. So you pop a few more chocolate covered espresso beans and carry on . . .

Npow to the fun stuff . . .

Wireless Internet is quite the draw these days.  According to studies I've read, it enhances emergency services communications, business communications, and increased employment. Some of this may be pure hokum. Obviously, even  more reading is required. Thank God for the Internet. For those who want a fairly good overview, Wikipedia offers a good article of the subject.

Even though Bentonville got the lion's share of attention, Fayetteville has actually been looking at providing this service for some years now.

At the June 21 meeting (City Hall, Room 219, 5:30pm) of the Telecomm Board, there will be a demonstration of how Wi Fi might work.  And, of course, even more discussion. We are hoping for a good turnout from the public.

There has been a lot in interest expressed. It's obviously a big selling for folks. Going down North Street yesterday, I noticed that Delmar apartments were offering free Wi Fi.

Though some caution that the very thought of Wi Fi might send shudders up the spine of city book keepers, I have been reading about some realtively cheap systems - including solar powered sytems.

Sorry if this seems dry and technical.


Has anyone else actually tried to watch "The 1/2 Hour News Show" on Fox? I've tried three times, now. I keep waiting for something funny. Am I just a liberal snob? Well, yeah, but still . . .

And do chocolate covered espresso beans really contain much caffeine?



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