Public WiFi

Editor's Note: This story is part of a month-long series that highlights 31 ideas included in the "Mansfield Rising" plan. The 67-page document was created by 15 local leaders after attending the South by Southwest Conference last March in Austin, Texas.

MANSFIELD -- The "Mansfield Rising" team has proposed installing free public WiFi immediately in downtown Mansfield. 

In the "Mansfield Rising" plan, the team calls public WiFi a "necessity" to build "the best possible foundation for any future-thinking city." 

It suggests a partnership with downtown Mansfield Inc. to create an effective infrastructure that would host WiFi throughout the downtown area. The notion is to work with downtown businesses using an idea from the Vermont Digital Economy Project, which looks at implementing WiFi by having local businesses donate bandwidth.

Monitoring usage would be important to prevent a few users from monopolizing the bandwidth and thereby causing connectivity issues for other users. The plan suggests this task be assigned to a proposed new position, called the chief digital officer.

To further help this, the plan suggests automatically limiting access to a period of time, such as 30 or 60 minutes, before users are required to reauthorize. 

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