Augusta to Go Wireless

<strong>Augusta &mdash; March 31</strong><br />The city of Augusta announced it is ready to proceed with its plan to implement a wireless broadband Internet network by the end of this year. The second largest city in Georgia and home to the PGA&rsquo;s Masters Tournament will be releasing its request for proposal (RFP) within weeks. <br /> <br />Augusta&rsquo;s twist on a city wireless network differs from what other cities across the United States have tried. Using a grant from the state, the city will be spending more than $500,000 to build and deploy the Wi-Fi network over a highly populated area. With most of the deployment costs covered and only looking for an internet service provider (ISP) to operate, market and maintain the network, the city considers it a winning plan.<br /> <br />&ldquo;We selected areas within the city with the highest household concentration within the city and added the downtown business corridor and three major colleges,&rdquo; said Gary Hewett, assistant director of information technology for the city, &ldquo;then combined them all into our deployment area.&rdquo;<br /> <br />&ldquo;We have reviewed wireless RFP&rsquo;s from all over the country,&rdquo; he adds. &ldquo;We believe that our &lsquo;build it and they will come&rsquo; approach is a model that will work.&rdquo;<br /> <br />Under the current plan, the majority of the capital cost for the network will be covered with the chosen ISP to operate the network under a revenue share plan with the city.<br />

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