By Savath Yong
Ward 4 Alderman Tony Lafuente proposes Wireless Internet Access (WiFi) at Somerville parks. Lafuente said that in the past offering WiFi in public areas would have been extremely costly but he presented a resolution asking the city to explore other venues to add WiFi capabilities.
The Alderman researched the idea and found that many people in Europe were already enjoying the benefits of WiFi at their local parks and have reported that their quality of life has greatly improved. A decision has not yet been reached but Lafuente stated that plans are still in the beginning stages and Mayor Curtatone has been supportive of the idea.
In a media release, Mayor Curtatone is quoted as saying, “Wireless technology is changing all the time and I think Tony is right to suggest a fresh look at Wi-Fi hotspots for Somerville parks.”
While the possibilities are being explored, Lafuente hopes to install the first WiFi hotspot at Grimmons Park. He stated that it’s a very busy park frequented by parents and children throughout the day and hopes that the free Internet access will expand into other public parks in the city.
“The feedback has been really positive from residents and families I’ve talked to. More people are dependent on the web and more parents are working from home. Children can be entertained at the park, parents have access to the Internet to do their work and WiFi can also serve as a public duty for the city. People can report on what’s happening at the park or email us if they see anything that needs improvement. WiFi hotspots can really benefit the residents, visitors and the city as a whole. As society evolves, so does the need for us to keep up with the changes, so it only makes sense in the direction we are all moving towards,” Lafuente said.