Proposal of WiFi Hotspots in Somerville Parks

On April 12, 2012, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

Ward 4 Alderman Tony Lafuente is advocating for WiFi installations in Somerville parks.

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.



18 Responses to “Proposal of WiFi Hotspots in Somerville Parks”

  1. Pauly D says:

    this is a stupid idea ! Now the City is gonna pay for wireless?? I live near a park, so please do it. I can cancel my provider and live free off the city like all the other freeloaders

  2. Me says:

    “The Alderman researched the idea and found that many people in Europe were already enjoying the benefits of WiFi at their local parks “… especially the greeks, who were able to use to to tweet about their governments going broke.

    Again I state for the record, look back at these ideas when the mayor is proposing the budget that states they need to increase taxes and fees to cover the gap or they will have to cut teachers, firemen and police, since they have already cut to the bone.

  3. Susan says:

    Aren’t we wired enough ! Go PLAY at the parks and the city will save money.

  4. Ward7Somerville says:

    Why aren’t these parent interested in paying attention to their children? Do they regret having them?

    It’s sad to see all the children in strollers being ignored by the texting and ear-bud wearing parents and the stated basis for WiFi in parks would just add to that problem.

  5. WifiBadIdea says:

    If people want net access in public spaces, let them pay for cell data plans. Last I checked, there are many city services that are either not being provided or could be improved quite a bit. If we have money to spend (which I don’t think we do), spend it on fixing the roads & sidewalks, enforcing property maintenance & snow removal, improve cleanliness around city, improve state of libraries & schools, put sound & visual barriers along I-93, etc etc etc.

  6. Patrick says:

    Just steal it from your neighbor like I do. 😉

  7. Ray Spitzer says:

    “and have reported that their quality of life has greatly improved. ”

    Funny, you go to the park either to get off the net or to meet some people in person. And now they want to put WiFi in the park, which defeats both criteria. Tony, if you want to be on the net, do it at home. WTF? when you go out you are supposed to be off-line, it’s part of the balance. You spend a lot of time online, you need time offline. What are these idiots thinking?

  8. janet says:

    I’m a business owner and I think this is an amazing idea. So many of my friends live at parks with free WiFi – great somerville is finally catching up with the times. Hope the Mayor puts this through.

    Stop being afraid of change people.

  9. Ray Spitzer says:

    “So many of my friends live at parks with free WiFi”

    Are they homeless? Why else would they live at parks? Plus, why would be relevant if you are a business owner or not? Use the money for something more important. Like… food and shelter for people who don’t have any…

  10. Me says:

    Why cant we cut the sales tax??
    “But Representative Jay Kaufman, a Lexington Democrat who leads the revenue committee, said tax cuts would mean fewer teachers, firefighters, and other state services. He said he agreed the sales tax is a regressive one, but nonetheless refused to support a rollback.

    “We are talking about draconian cuts to public services,” he said.”

    But… but… cities have enough money to spend on WiFi?

  11. j. connelly says:

    The Somerville Shell game. The money goes into one account and with the quick draw Mcgraw style gaveling, i.e; “the yeas have it”, the money is funneled out to other pet projects.

    Just look at the BOA minutes…Money was appropriated for Assembly Square infrastructure, etc. Then a few weeks or months later there were multiple actions and several million was transferred for other non Assembly Square issues, several million for some park refurbishments, etc.

    Then next year the BOA will be hit by the mayor cause now there is a shortfall in the Assembly Square monies. “Revolving Door”

  12. mememme says:

    hmmm, so who locally works for this guy Kaufman who is another left wing democrat state rep. who loves all taxes? hmmm, could it be the political opportunist Sean Fitzgerald? And we keep electing these people, who’s the dumb one here? Looks like Tony is also for giving our money away? free wifi in parks, why not free city wide?

    so many questions and we all know the answer, its working so well in Greece, Spain, Italy and Ireland we just want to be like them don’t we?

  13. Prospecter says:

    Ok, J. I hear you. I see what you’re doing. But why don’t you stop calling routine public works projects a “shell game,” I don’t see any reason why WiFi at the parks is bad. It seems positively progressive, and perfectly fitting. I doubt anyone would propose such an idea if there were really limited funds.
    The Assembly Square DIF plan allows for taxes from the Assembly Row project to be re-invested in the community.

  14. Me says:

    @ prospector’s “I don’t see any reason why WiFi at the parks is bad. It seems positively progressive, and perfectly fitting. ”

    Fantastic! I will pass along this information to the city, that you feel its a good idea, and would be willing to fund and over see the project! Oh, when its your own money its not such a great idea? well then…

  15. WifiBadIdea says:

    Agree with “Me”. It’s not that it’s a “bad idea”. It’s that we have more important stuff to pay for with our limited funds. Free Wifi is so frivolous it’s at the bottom of the priority.

  16. j. connelly says:

    “P” what taxes? Ah there’s that New Wave Communist term…”Progressive” They havent completed [with occupancy] anything yet from Joe’s Lego Project and even when they do, the bond issue dumped on the taxpayers for the Assembly Square Developers is going to reduce those taxes for a number of years.
    But you do have a group of supporters, The ITG…Identity Theft Group…They Be Lovin you…., your credit cards, your bank account, your retirement funds…Like Facebook, WiFi…another scam.

  17. Somerbreeze says:

    Money is better spent funding programs for the multitude of Somerville’s at-risk kids.

  18. Ralph says:

    I think free wi-fi is an awesome idea. My gf lives in Boston and I find that we can take advantage of the outdoors more when we can get work and fun in at the same time. Somerville needs to jump on the bandwagon already!

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