By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Residents will soon be connected to public WiFi at Mead Rapids View and Veterans Parks.
City officials have approved a partnership with Solarus for a 12-month pilot program to provide WiFi at the popular downtown locations. WiFi will be available from the WoodTrust building to the clock tower.
After an initial discussion on costs to the public last month, the city tried to have the costs lowered for non-Media Shower residents, to which Solarus declined.
“In a perfect world, I’d love to see them do more, but based on whatever data we collect this year we would be in a better position to negotiate something like that for next year or potentially look at another provider for that service,” said Mayor Zach Vruwink at Tuesday’s Finance & Property meeting. “We have a few options; we’re in a good position on it and it doesn’t cost us anything, financially.”
Solarus will endure the costs of installing the necessary equipment, and the city will provide the necessary power for the service to function. Media Shower customers will be able to login and access the internet free-of-charge, while non-Media Shower customers would have limited access, which includes one 30 minute session per week.
After 30 minutes, Solarus will provide additional service at a cost as follows:
One day — $2.99 + tax
Three days — $7.99 + tax
20 days — $29.99 + tax
“It’s an intriguing concept — I like the idea that it’s going to provide an extension of free access like places like our library, beyond business hours. — so there’s a benefit.” said Vruwink.
Final approval will go through next week’s common council meeting, which could see WiFi up and running shortly after.