Coupeville Waterfront Association looking at hotspot

The Coupeville Historic Waterfront Association is looking at making the town a mobile hotspot.

The association formed a committee last week to explore options and costs in providing visitors with a public wireless Internet connection.

The idea is an antenna would be installed near the visitor’s center on Alexander Street that would broadcast a signal.

Some of the benefits to the service would be to allow vendors during festivals access to run credit cards, business interaction with visitors as well as assist in social network marketing.

During the association’s regular meeting last Thursday, some business owners pointed out there may be some liability in how the connection is used if it’s open to everyone.

The committee will explore the use of administrative options to block access to specific kinds of websites as well as possibly creating specific types of logins to restrict usage.

The estimated cost of such a project would be anywhere from $70 to $370 a month in usage costs, depending on the size of desired bandwidth.

Installation and hardware is estimated to cost between $500 and $2,000.

Some of that cost will be covered by a grant, said association Executive Director Vickie Chambers.

One thing the committee will explore is possibly creating the multiple access logins to allow some of the smaller local businesses to utilize the service.

Some ideas thrown out include charging a monthly fee charge for local businesses. The association is reaching out to the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce to see if it would like to be involved.

Executive Director Lynda Eccles said the project is something the chamber would be interested in participating in.

Estimated time to get a mobile hotspot up and running would be 60-90 days.

Chambers said she would love to be up and running by this summer.


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