Santa Fe City Council approves free Wi-Fi hot spots | Local News

Free Wi-Fi will quickly be accessible at a number of places throughout Santa Fe regardless of reservations concerning the venture from some metropolis councilors who ended up voting for it anyway.

After a virtually 1 half hour dialogue Wednesday, Mayor Alan Webber and the Metropolis Council unanimously authorised a memorandum of understanding with Santa Fe Public Faculties for the town to put in Wi-Fi scorching spots at a number of college campuses. The free Wi-Fi on college grounds is primarily meant for college kids who’ve switched to on-line studying within the midst of the coronavirus pandemic however who’ve restricted or no web entry.

Although not a part of the settlement with the college district, the town additionally plans to put in Wi-Fi scorching spots at a number of city-owned buildings that can be accessible for the general public to log into, too.

“Together with city-owned websites, the chosen college places will permit for extra areas of the town to have hotspots close to at hand,” Sean Moody, the town’s telecommunications architect, wrote in a memo to the council.

Some metropolis councilors, together with Michael Garcia, JoAnne Vigil Coppler and Renee Villarreal, pushed for a “timeline” to take away the infrastructure, which is simply meant to be momentary. Regardless of their jockeying, the total council finally authorised the settlement as initially offered.

“The pandemic is our timeline,” Wealthy Brown, the town’s financial improvement director, informed the governing physique. “We do not know when that is going to finish.”

The venture, which can value an estimated $90,000, has raised suspicions that it’s going to result in the set up of 5G cellphone expertise, which nonetheless would not exist in Santa Fe. However metropolis and faculty officers emphasised that the recent spots are unrelated to 5G.

“That is nonetheless aspirational for Santa Fe,” Moody mentioned in a phone interview earlier than Wednesday’s digital council assembly. “Not one of the suppliers have it right here. Definitely, it isn’t a part of our venture in any way. Our venture would not use it, and it would not make it.”

Councilor Signe Lindell mentioned the council acquired quite a few emails concerning the venture from involved residents, a few of which left her “dumbfounded.”

“There was one factor that stood out in these emails that I am compelled to say out loud, and that is the variety of people who mentioned in emails that they did not consider there have been individuals on this city that do not have web entry,” she mentioned. “I used to be shocked by that. It tells me that there is some people who don’t know how a lot a few of our fellow residents are struggling.”

Tom Ryan, the college district’s chief data and technique officer, mentioned the free Wi-Fi on college campuses is designed to assist college students “get to their instructional sources” in addition to entry normal details about what’s taking place on the earth.

“Now we have about 550 youngsters that mentioned that they want web entry,” Ryan mentioned. “We even have academics, a few of which their partner has misplaced their job as a result of closing of companies, etcetera, that may’t afford or can now not afford web.”

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