SOUTH BEND -- The St. Joseph County Public Library is considering a
plan that would provide free Wi-Fi service downtown to anyone with a
county library card.
If the plan proceeds, all county library cardholders would be able to
access the service when they are downtown or across the river in the
East Bank area.
Donald Napoli, county library director, estimates the project would cost
about $50,000 to $60,000 for equipment, licensing and initial setup, then about $30,000 per year to provide the service.
The plan would require a partner, such as the city of South Bend,
agreeing to cover about half the cost, he said. The city also would
have to agree to permit Wi-Fi radio antennas to be placed on city
traffic light poles, he said.
Free downtown Wi-Fi would be a useful service for patrons and a good
way of promoting the library and community events, Napoli said. He
envisions that when cardholders log on to the system, the first screen
they would see would be the county library's mobile page.
Wi-Fi is a form of technology that allows an electronic device to
exchange data using radio waves over a computer network, including
high-speed Internet connections.