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Downtown Macon visitors could soon take advantage of public WiFi thanks to local project

Macon Telegraph logoMacon Telegraph 2/16/2019 By Stanley Dunlap, The Macon Telegraph

Feb. 16--MACON, Ga. -- The heart of downtown Macon should soon have free Wi-Fi service.

Middle Georgia State University would use a $39,848 grant to install the wireless internet network that would be available to the public for at least 18 months. The target Wi-Fi network will be installed in Poplar Street Park with a signal strong enough to go down Poplar Street and reach Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

"There will be times (service) expands further depending on weather conditions and other factors," said Kevin Floyd, associate dean of the School of Information Technology at Middle Georgia State.

The school's staff and students are working with Cox Communications on the project, which will be a "learning opportunity for (students) and also be a benefit to the city," Floyd said at this week's County Commission meeting.

Commissioners are expected to sign-off Tuesday on allowing the university to install the Wi-Fi. A Downtown Challenge Grant from the Community Foundation of Central Georgia is funding the project that requires no government money.

"The worst thing that can happen is after 18 months we turn if off," County Commissioner Larry Schlesinger said.

If the county decided to operate the system long term, it would cost an estimated $24,000 a year to run, according to the resolution.

MGSU will seek out other grants to continue the service for a longer period of time, Floyd said.

"We are very much committed to working diligently to find that additional funding," he said.


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