Deployment of Wireless
Robb Port reported on his research regarding wireless vendors. Cingular is the one nationwide wireless vendor with which he has spoken. They are very interested in speaking with us and making a presentation. Cingular's technology is cell phone-based technology and not WiFi. Consequently, it is more ubiquitous and secure, but of lower bandwidth than WiFi. Cingular is upgrading its system to 3G which will increase bandwidth. Increased data rates will make it more appealing for business use. Because it is cell phone technology, infrastructure exists for overlaying the whole city rather than being limited to specific hot spots or hot zones.
David Bailey commented that he and others in the downtown area have envisioned the construction of an inexpensive network of public and private WiFi access points that form a free Internet access zone in the downtown area. Users would access the Internet through a community portal that would contain information about local businesses and events. Robb will continue his research into WiFi vendors such as Verilan which has experience with various types of WiFi including WiMax and wireless meshes.
Paul Stover reported that he has been in contact with Mike Ritto, president of the Downtown Business Association, who has expressed his willingness to communicate on our behalf with downtown businesses and assist us in developing support for a wireless network. Paul is also arranging a meeting with Gary Chalupsky to inform him of our ideas and determine if there might be redevelopment funds available.
Report of Working Group Progress to City Council
The Working Group determined that it would be better to make a presentation to City Council when it has a specific plan for the Downtown to recommend. In the interim, the Chair was asked to prepare a written progress report which can be placed in the Council's meeting packet.