Notice: Public wifi has come to Fort Bragg. Over the next few months MCN and the City of Fort Bragg will install two-three nodes in the downtown business district. The corners of which are: Franklin St. and Laurel St. extending South to Redwood Ave at Franklin. West along the same parallel on Main st. The city will provide this as a free service, spending only $10,000.00 for equipment, installation, and yearly maintenance.
It is time for the coastal town of Fort Bragg to transition to the 21st century. Business, education, and entertainment are all increasingly being accessed via the Internet. Free public internet is like having a library to anyone and everyone that has access to a basic computer with wireless connectivity. The organization OpenWireless.org serves as a rally point for people, organizations, and governments interested in setting up open wireless networks. Internet access benefits the masses. It serves as a platform for ideas to spread and take hold, for communication and sharing in a global domain. open access to internet is similar in concept to open access to roads. Imagine having to pay a monthly fee to use the roads to Mendocino or Willits!
Public WiFi in the downtown area would not only allow people that are economically disadvantaged the luxury of broadband internet access, but also allow for a richer downtown experience for those who already have internet at their home. Internet devices are moving swiftly to more mobile and smaller devices. Almost all modern 'smart' phones have WiFi capabilities. These smart phones are only 'smart' if they have a reliable network connection. Normally this means that you have to buy a data plan, with various degrees of data and bandwidth capabilities. With city-wide WiFi, people may be less inclined to purchase these data plans and use the freely available WiFi while in town. Currently, a limited number of WiFi access points exist in the Business District of Fort Bragg: Mendocino Cookie Co., Headlands, and The Bookstore.
If all of these assumptions hold true, then planning, development, and execution of such a project is well within the communities ability. To see that the voices of the people are heard, and to keep everything as open as possible, a community WiFi committee should be set up to see the overall logistics of the project and to respond to any questions, complaints, critiques, or improvements received by the people of Fort Bragg.
Here is a list of cities that currently deploy large public WiFi networks.
Feel free to email us to ask questions and start the community dialogue necessary for implementing such a project.