City businesses unsure about benefits of WiFi

Here is a story the likes of which we are going to hear more of, not less. City officials in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, are hoping to expand WiFi access in the city before next summer--but this expansion will require significant investments from local businesses. A subcommittee of the Economic Development Commission said the first phase of expansion would cost approximately $50,000 for hardware, installation, and software. "We've researched it and think it'd be a great thing if we can expand, but the economics are pretty straight forward," said Dana Levenson, chairman of the EDC. "We need to find businesses who think it's a worthwhile endeavor and who are willing to step up and support this."

Expansion would include growing the free Internet access coverage area to one approximately 15 times larger than the 500-foot radius in Market Square currently provided. The benefit for businesses would be the promotion of Portsmouth's downtown area. Trouble is, businesses have heard all this before, and they are hesitant about making a contribution to the project.

For more on WiFi in Portsmouth:
- see Adam Leech's Seacoastonline report