The Marietta Square could be going wireless.
That’s the goal of Councilman Johnny Walker, who has proposed installing free Wi-Fi in the city’s historic downtown.
“I’ve had a couple people ask me about it,” he said. “I spoke with (City Manager) Bill Bruton to find out where we stood with that. It’s been talked about in the past, but I thought I would bring it up. As lively as the Square is, I think it would be a benefit to our citizens to have free Wi-Fi up there.”
The city’s Economic and Community Development Committee will discuss the idea at its Tuesday meeting.
Walker said he pictures families using it to post photos while relaxing on the Square and local employees having access to their laptops during their lunch breaks.
Other nearby cities offer free Wi-Fi in some capacities, including Kennesaw, where free hotspots are available for residents in certain places, including downtown and in major parks. Wi-Fi is currently available at some Square restaurants for patrons, but Walker’s plan would not require residents to buy a meal and ask for the password.
“Some restaurants have it up there, but I thought people up in the park, just around the outskirts of the
Square, if it’s not too cost prohibitive, I thought it would be something to add to the attractiveness of the Square,” he said.
Walker anticipates the network being available for any Square visitor, not just Marietta residents.
“My whole thing is to make Marietta more friendly place, to attract more visitors,” he said. “I don’t want to discriminate against non-residents.”
Walker said cost and other details will be discussed at today’s meeting, but he said he does not expect costs to be high.
Another issue to be discussed is capacity, how many connections the system could handle at once, and potential dates for implementation.
If the committee approves the plan today, it will need to go before the full council, which could happen as soon as its Sept. 12 meeting.