According to Mayor Bob Stefanik, two of the four Wifi hotspots are set to be up and running.
These “hot spots” would allow the public to access the Internet on their smart phones, laptops and tablets, by accessing a wireless connection with a certain area around each server. Servers would be located in each municipal building, which could allow users to remotely access the Internet within a certain distance from that server.
Originally, the areas of Memorial Park, York Road Fields, Heasley Fields and the City Green were targeted for wifi access. The areas of Memorial Park and York Road Fields were set to be activated by mid-April, according to Brian Beals, Internet Technology Systems Administrator/Local Area Network Manager for the city. At the time of this writing, Beals said that he was formulating a terms agreement section that would allow users to log into the various hotspots. He expected the wifi to be live mid-month.
The city of North Royalton forged agreements with WOW in order to offer the free Wifi hotspots. According to Economic Development Director, Tom Jordan, WOW had a leasing agreement that was forged ten years ago to provide service for utilizing some city property. That agreement was parlayed into an agreement that will provide some of the WiFi service. The city is working with the Cuyahoga County Public Library, who has offered to make the same provision. Beals said that the three hotspots were targeted for this year. It is not known if the City Green will be activated ultimately, but is not set to start this year.
The idea started when the city extended the cable to the new City Hall. Jordan said that the City Hall move made the timing right. The citywide network ties all municipal buildings into one city-owned network, which supports the city’s phone system and Internet connectivity. Previously, the line speed at any given time was dependent upon usage, as the city was completely reliant upon an Internet provider. With the fiber optic network, the line speed is faster and more consistent. North Royalton is a member of the Southwest Regional Communications Network Council of Governments which created the existing fiber optic network.
The new service is a benefit from the installation of fiber optic cabling that has taken place throughout the city. Council unanimously adopted legislation last June to extend the fiber optic cable to connect all the municipal buildings with a fiber optic network. The network would serve the communication needs of the city, including telephone, computer, fax and internet. Currently, many of the city’s buildings are linked only by internet connection. The installation linking all would not only make for a more cohesive, faster network citywide, but also cut down costs and bring the city into a higher level, technologically speaking. “This will definitely pay back,” said Mayor Bob Stefanik. “It’s a good investment.”

Contributing Writer