City explores public Wi-Fi

 

City explores public Wi-Fi

 

Date: July 24, 2012
by: Andrew O'Brien | Staff Writer

 
 

 

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In a day and age that revolves around the Internet, Palm Coast officials want to explore signing on and opening up Wi-Fi access to the public.

City Councilman Jason DeLorenzo brought up the idea of allowing public Wi-Fi during Tuesday’s budget discussion. It’s a concept City Councilman Frank Meeker has suggested in the past.

According to Steve Viscardi, information technology and communications director for the city, the systems are in place to allow public Wi-Fi at specific locations throughout the city. He also said capital costs are “minimal.”

But he was concerned with maintaining high security levels for the city’s servers.

“Wireless is inherently insecure,” Viscardi said. “We just want to be very careful that we aren’t opening ourselves up.”

City Councilman Bill McGuire suggested the city moves slowly.

“What the city does not want to do, is we don’t want to compete with private companies that use Wi-Fi as an enticement to come to their establishment,” he said.

But city officials said that’s not the plan.

The plan would be to open up Internet access for the public at various city parks and venues. The Indian Trails Sports Complex, for example, could be a Wi-Fi hotspot.

That could allow real-time scores and tournament updates during the large sporting events.

City Manager Jim Landon said the first step is to allow public Internet at the city offices in City Marketplace. If that works, the next step would be smaller city parks, such as Waterfront Park or Linear Park.

“This is the first step to move us up that technology ladder,” Meeker said.

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