Previously the City Alton had entered into an agreement with WiFiRus LLC in August of 2016 to provide a demonstration project to facilitate a public Wi-Fi system, at no cost to the residents, to a portion of the city as a pilot program. This project consisted of utilizing the current city water tower to mount the required hardware and provide services to a portion of the Old Town Site, a portion of the city commercial sector and Sylvia Vela Park.
Residents within a 550 yard circular radius around the water tower including City Hall and Sylvia Vela Park were within this area. The Wi-Fi demonstration project reported for a four month period (February 2017 to May 2017) that on an average, approximately 3,305 users were connecting to the system per month. This solidified that the need and the demand for this type of service was prevalent in the city of Alton.
The original intent of the project was to give a level of free WiFi to school children within the City’s jurisdiction and especially to those that could not afford the cost of an internet connection to do basic items as completing homework tasks. Currently the City Alton Development Corporation (CADC) has entered into a Public, Private Partnership (P3) with WiFiRus LLC, to provide no cost Public Wi-Fi to the citizens of Alton. The project is called “Alton Smart City WiFi”.
The Alton Smart City WiFi project will be phased in utilizing four phases to cover the limits of the City of Alton. The First phase will consist of six towers, including the current Water Tower, to provide a level of free WiFi to the residents of Alton and the commercial sector within the intersection of Mile 5 and Alton Blvd to include City Hall and Sylvia Vela Park. The Wi-Fi project will provide users with a maximum bandwidth of 2Mbps per user.
Wi-Fi users allowed free access would not be allowed the capacity to access multi-media viewing, such as videos and other extensive broadband user activities however; WiFiRus LLC will be able to serve concurrent users with no restrictions for a monthly fee for the upgrade to include all multi-media downloads. These would be considered a Premium Package.
WiFiRus LLC will provide the CADC with all data analytics collected on the use of the system and the CADC will analyze the data for future projects and expansions.
“Thanks to our elected officials and their vision of the growth of Alton, we are moving to the next level of services for our residents, “Moving Alton Forward by Bridging the Digital Divide”.