TELL US: Should Watertown Provide Free WiFi for Residents?

Other communities have wireless internet access for residents, and one Town Councilor wants to look at providing the option in town.


These days, with everyone carrying laptops, smart phones or a tablet, folks are always on the lookout for wireless internet service. One Town Councilor wants to make it easier for Watertown residents to get their Wi-Fi.

Angeline Kounelis recently suggested the town consider starting a project to provide free Wi-Fi to Watertown residents. The town would not be the first in the area to provide such a service.

"Mayor Menino wants to provide Wi-Fi to all citizens of Boston and Brookline has eight hot spots in town," Kounelis said.

In 2006, Boston started a pilot program to provide free wireless service in the Faneuil Hall area and around City Hall through wireless hotspots. 

The Brookline Wi-Fi program offers free wireless access in certain areas of town, including business districts like Coolidge Corner, as well as parks. Brookline also offers low-cost wireless internet service for town residents, starting at $19.95 a month for 1 Mbps speed access. 

The project could be funded by the Harvard/O'Neil Charitable Funds handed out by the town, Kounelis said. Half of the $100,000 to be doled out this year has been reserved for a project that the town would not be able to do with its regular budget.

The town could provide service to the whole town, or go the hotspot route, Kounelis said, but she said she does not yet have a preference of which direction to go.

Do you think Watertown should provide free Wi-Fi for town residents? Tell us in the comment section below.

K Coyne November 07, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Gary M, Ok I'll bite one more time..you are missing the point. We are talking about a solution to a problem using various tools(as opposed to only one solution). I'm not sure why you are stuck on a Tower...mmmm. "They(providers)' only do what is in the best interest of their business as it is the cell tower companies that make $$ off of a tower not the provider. The provider only makes $$ if they re-coop the $$ they have to pay the Tower people by getting more residents to join/pay more. Wireless providers must prove to the town(if the town/residents ask) that there is a need for this extra antenna ..and specifically at this location a need for an antenna as opposed to another location.
K Coyne November 07, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Sonny, Not certain if you are referring to me or Gary M in case you are asking me: please see my original post back quite a few, which discusses the original question. Unfortunately, we went away from the main point of the discussion.
Gary M November 07, 2012 at 09:24 PM
WaterInfo, OK so let's assume that they have to put up 'stuff' to enable WIFI hotspots and it doesn't cost too much. Are you for it or against it?
K Coyne November 08, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Please see original posting.
NB November 11, 2012 at 10:47 PM
All for it as long as it is not costly..


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