The free wireless Internet service in downtown Iowa City may be getting an upgrade.
Currently, the Iowa City Public Library provides free Wi-Fi that reaches just outside its building, but coverage is limited and is not meeting the public’s needs, the city said.
The Iowa City Downtown District is undertaking a project that likely would allow people to get two hours of free Wi-Fi every 24 hours throughout the Pedestrian Mall, although the details are still being worked out, Nancy Bird, the organization’s executive director, said in an email message. After that, a person would have to log in again or pay for the service, she said.
The expanded Wi-Fi should be ready in November, she said.
Bird said free Wi-Fi would help the downtown “maintain a competitive, business and community friendly environment” and support the increasing use of tablet devices and laptops.
On Sept. 17, the City Council is to vote on an agreement that would let South Slope Cooperative Communications Company replace the library’s access points with ones it operates and maintains.
There would be no cost to the city, said Geoff Fruin, assistant to the city manager in Iowa City.
South Slope and Iowa Network Services would provide the downtown district with the necessary infrastructure, Bird said. The district would pay the operational costs, which are under negotiation, she said.