2017 R ena i s s anc e P l an U pdat e | T own of W ak e F or e s t
Wi-Fi, or Wireless Fidelity, enables wireless access to the internet. Many communities throughout the country are equipping their downtowns with Wi-Fi technologies creating what is known as a “Hot Spot” or Wi-Fi Zone. Within these zones, internet users are able to connect to the world wide web at a very high rate of speed without the hassle of cable connections. Industry experts estimate it costs only a few thousand dollars to establish a Wi-Fi Zone if a fiber infrastructure is already in place. Additional costs will involve maintenance of the network/zone and an annual internet connection fee. Coverage for a Wi-Fi Zone typically encompasses a few city blocks. The Town of Wake Forest should establish a Wi-Fi Zone throughout the heart of the Renaissance Area, at a minimum. This technology is recognized as a valuable economic development tool enabling many professionals the ability to work remotely while enjoying a cup of coffee or a sandwich from one of the numerous restaurants or coffee shops in the downtown. With the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices, this technology would also make the Renaissance Area more attractive to a wide range of potential visitors. In the near-term, the Town of Wake Forest, should research the logistical aspects associated with establishing a Wi-Fi Zone within downtown Wake Forest. Partnerships between the Town, local utility departments, and area businesses may be formed to help fund and maintain a Wi-Fi Zone.
S S With the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices, public Wi-Fi is becoming an essential tool in creating great downtowns.
RECOMMENDATION 9J: Research best practices in public Wi-Fi program implementation and management and subsequently implement public Wi-Fi in the Renaissance Area.
S S Wi-Fi is widely is recognized as a valuable economic development tool attracting users by enabling them to work remotely or leisurely browse the internet.
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