The city of Chattanooga plans to soon roll out a free Wi-Fi program in city-owned buildings and public spaces.
"Wi-Fi" is short for "wireless fidelity," and refers to an internet connection that does not require web users to plug in to anything.
The city says phase one of the initiative is currently underway and includes the rewiring of city-owned public buildings to ensure ubiquitous Wi-Fi access.
These buildings include all 18 Youth & Family Development centers, Head Start centers, neighborhood Fire Halls, City Hall, the City Annex, the Development Resource Center (DRC) and more.
After the initial phase is complete, the City will begin to wire city-owned public spaces, such as parks, for Wi-Fi access.
In addition to opening up internet access through a two phase rollout, the City is kicking off a public competition to name the Wi-Fi network. Several cities across the country have named their public Wi-Fi networks to reflect a unique aspect of their community or city. (For instance, the Boston network plays on a well-known local phrase with its name, “Wicked Free Wi-Fi”.)
The competition began Wednesday. Just visit the city's website
to submit your idea. In a week, a team of individuals throughout the community and city government will narrow the submissions down to five names; those five will be voted on by the community and a winning name announced before the end of the month.
'The City owns a lot of public spaces and they are used in a variety of different ways by individuals across our community,' said Mayor Andy Berke. 'We want to ensure our citizens have more access to the internet – one way we can do that is by utilizing the places our citizens already visit and open them up for even more use.'