Mr. Cottrell spoke about wireless internet for public access. He provided a brief overview of the County’s history for internet service and said there are only a few access points for wireless internet in County facilities for public access with the Legislature Chambers being one location. The other two locations are the Old Jail and Public Health with limited availability.
He explained one of the concerns with public access is the security of the County's network. This month there will be a number of upgrades with the network in both uptown and downtown. The upgrades will pave the way to segregate the traffic from the public wireless to the main network. Another concern with public access is the bandwidth. There are a number of crucial applications from the public safety community and if the bandwidth is significantly reduced it creates problems with employees being able to connect to the County’s network.
He further explained why passwords for the wireless internet are not publicly posted as there have been issues with people connecting from inside and outside the building using personal phones, laptops, etc. He said there have been times when problems or complaints have been received about bandwidth issues and it then becomes necessary for staff to identify where the problem is coming from.
Mr. Cottrell said they continue to explore solutions for supporting wireless internet for public access. He said if the County is interested in pursuing this, one recommendation would be to have a provider that offers the service and the bandwidth dedicated for that purpose. The cost of that would be approximately $250-$500 per month.
Discussion followed and Committee members spoke of their interest to offer wireless internet for the public to access. Mr. Cottrell suggested and the Committee agreed to have a report back following the upgrades to the network that will be done over the next couple of months and to present options including the costs to have wireless access for all County facilities and at only public assembly areas such as the Old Jail Conference Room, Legislature Chambers, etc.