Downtown Covington getting wireless Internet

COVINGTON -- Downtown Covington is going wireless.

The City Council recently approved a project to provide wireless Internet on the Square. Residents could have access by the end of the year, said Bobby Johnson, the city's system information manager.

Johnson said the project will entail boring into the roadway and running fiber optics from City Hall to the Square. Wireless service will be available in the Square Park and the outer ring of the Square.

"We want it to be a destination," said Mayor Kim Carter.

"That's right -- we want people to sit on the benches of the Square and use it," said Councilman Chris Smith.

The signal can also likely be picked up in some of the businesses, Johnson said.

The cost is $11,660 for hardware and installation, along with $300 per month for a 36-month agreement for Internet, for a total of $10,800; plus $1,445 for a three-year contract for firewall updates and support.

"We'll use a firewall for content management to block adult websites and other malicious websites," Johnson said.

The project is part of a strategic plan approved by the council earlier this year. The council indicated a desire to expand wireless accessibility to areas off the Square in the future.

Smith said he would like for Main Street Covington to eventually participate in the cost, as the project could fall under the umbrella of tourism by drawing people to the Square.