WiFi coming soon to downtown Wabash

June 8th, 2012

News Coverage:

WiFi coming soon to downtown

Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 4:00 am | Updated: 5:17 pm, Thu Jun 7, 2012.

By Joseph Slacian, jslacian@wabashplaindealer.com

WiFi Internet service will soon be available for free downtown.

Officials from Wabash Marketplace Inc., Cinergy MetroNet and Visionary Web received permission this week from the Wabash Board of Public Works and Safety to place a radio in City Hall to help provide the service. Two other radios will be placed in other buildings downtown, according WMI Executive Director Steven Allen.

“These are the devices that will spread the WiFi throughout the downtown streets,” he said.

One of the receivers is expected to be located on the fourth floor of the Eagles Theater, while a second will be located on the northeast corner of City Hall. A third will be located closer to Paradise Spring Historical Park.

Allen said the groups conducted tests about a month ago and decided these sites would be the best places to locate the radios.

Cinergy MetroNet will run the fiber to the devices, and Visionary Web will install them.

The radios are mounted either to the structure or a pole that would be located at the sites, Visionary Web owner Mark Sapusek explained.

“It will be turned in a way that points toward Paradise Spring,” he continued. “So the idea is to get free WiFi that Cinergy is providing from at least halfway through Paradise Spring all the way down to the Honeywell Center Parking lot.

“It will take three devices to do that.”

The service would be available from about Main Street south to near the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks on the downtown’s south side.

The radios are run with a single cable to a power source and from there into Cinergy’s system, Sapusek said.

The service is being provided so that people who are staying downtown or are downtown on business can have Internet access, Mayor Bob Vanlandingham noted.

Sapusek added, “And, in particular, if we’re having events or festivals, things like that, people can have get public WiFi.”

Most of the time the power will be kept fairly low so people can’t come down “and download movies and such, sucking up Cinergy’s bandwidth,” he noted

The power would be increased as events downtown warranted it, he added.

The only cost for the installation would be to purchase the radios, and those have already been donated by the Economic Development Group of Wabash County and a member of the WMI board of directors.

“Once again, we feel that we have a need and we have several groups stepping up and working together once again to take care of that need,” Vanlandingham said.

Kim Pinkerton, Wabash County Chamber of Commerce president, said the service is important for the vendors and others who come to the downtown area. She also thanked the organizations for their efforts.