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Downtown Plymouth wi-fi now available

January 23, 2012

Mark Gidley watches as Jennifer Laurent and Mark Senter connect to the city’s WiFi Friday.

PLYMOUTH — After months of planning, downtown Plymouth, businesses and residents are now able to connect to a free Wi-Fi service within the business district.
Friday, Mayor Mark Senter, Marshall County Economic Development Director Jennifer Laurent, and PIDCO (Plymouth Industrial Development Corporation) representative Mark Gidley held a short press conference at Java Trail where they demonstrated the new service.
In 2011, several stakeholders contracted with DC Tech Solutions, a local Plymouth based IT firm, to deploy WiFi connectivity to most of the downtown in a few short months.
According to Gidley, PIDCO agreed to fund the equipment and software required, based on their 2011 plan focused on the corporation’s role in downtown development and investment. PIDCO funded six signal repeaters needed to enhance the coverage.
Senter said the idea came out of a meeting of the Plymouth Downtown Revitalization meeting early last summer. Senter worked with city boards to approve the attachment of DC Tech Solutions equipment to the city tower located at the Plymouth Fire Department.
Senter said, “The next goal is to have it in all the city offices.”
DC Tech solutions will provide the bandwidth and system maintenance going forward, according to Gidley.
PIDCO Board President Jack Davis said, “DC Tech Solutions provided a cost-effective and scalable introductory pricing for us to try this out. We hope that easy access to WiFi is one of many things that will bring people to downtown Plymouth, and the business people into sidewalk cafes. The anticipated result of more forward-looking partnership initiatives like this will be additional vitality and economic activity in the Central Business District.”
Instructions on the use of the service state: “WiFi users will not need a user name or password, but will simply be able to connect via a wireless network that will listed as an available WiFi connection called “dctech-pidco,” Davis said. “If this connection is chosen and the terms of use are accepted, users will have two hours of free WiFi during a 24-hour time frame.  After that time, a screen prompt will ask if the user wants to stay on for an additional time at a nominal cost.”
Access inside buildings is not guaranteed to be 100 percent, depending upon the nature of the building construction and the configuration of the rooms in the building.  
“Generally, the coverage will be better the closer the user is to an exterior wall or window,” said Dan Sammartano, owner of DC Tech. “If a building owner desires full coverage, DC Tech Solutions can suggest an upgrade for the best configuration for their building.”
According to Gidley, window clings to place on the windows of businesses promoting the WiFI were purchased by PIDCO. Gidley said more than two years ago, PIDCO decided to concentrate on downtown after concentrating on the Industrial Park for 55 years.
Senter said, “This is great for the downtown area. We want our downtown to be a step ahead of other towns.”
He shared his gratitude to those who helped make the WiFi available saying, “I truly appreciate PIDCO, DC Tech Solutions, and the Downtown Revitalization Committee.”

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