Archive for Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Committee formed to study citywide wireless Internet

The city of De Soto is exploring a plan with Time Warner that could provide citywide high-speed wireless Internet service.

The city of De Soto is exploring a plan with Time Warner that could provide citywide high-speed wireless Internet service.

February 10, 2010

The city of De Soto is exploring with two partners the possibility of opening the city to high-speed wireless Internet.

De Soto City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle told the city council last Thursday the exploration grew out of talks the city had with Time Warner Cable about its phone service. During those talks, city staff broached the possibility of extending the wireless service available at the aquatic center to the whole City Hall complex.

Guilfoyle said it was learned that extension could be done. But Time Warner representatives were open to extending service even more widely, up to the point of including those areas south of Kansas Highway 10 and in rural east De Soto not served by its cable Internet service.

Time Warner also approached its hardware provider Motorola about the plan. Guilfoyle said that company, too, was open to the project.

"They're very excited about the possibility of making De Soto a demonstration project for the potential of wireless to communities," Guilfoyle said.

Of particular interest was the possibility of reaching large numbers of households, such as Clearview City, which is without high-speed cable Internet, Guilfoyle said.

The proposed system would make use of the city's towers at Sunflower, downtown and near Waverly Road to cover the city.

Unanswered questions include cost to the city, who would be the serviced provider and its consequences to the city's current two wireless providers.

To get those answers, council members Mitra Templin and Rick Walker were appointed to a committee to study with city staff and representatives of the two companies.

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