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Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014

Wi-Fi bubble activated on Greencastle Square

Friday, January 13, 2012

(Photo)
The access page of the new Greencastle Wi-Fi bubble providing free Internet access within a two- to three-block radius of the courthouse is shown on a laptop.
The new Greencastle Wi-Fi bubble, named "GCFree," is now fully operational.

The Wi-Fi zone, which is accessible to anyone within two to three blocks of the Putnam County Courthouse Square, is meant to provide Internet access to the casual user, and should not be used to conduct a business.

Internet users wishing to use GCFree will be able to connect for two hours every 24-hour period, after accepting the terms and conditions of the network.

The downtown Wi-Fi bubble was made possible by the Stellar Community Grant that was awarded to the City of Greencastle.

Hardware for the project was funded by the Greencastle Redevelopment Commission with airHop Communications of Greencastle handling the installation and initial hosting of the network.

Network hosting will be transferred over to Cinergy MetroNet now that the project is functional.

The Wi-Fi project, along with the other aspects of the Stellar Community Grant, will enhance our community and reinvigorate the downtown, Mayor Sue Murray said.

It will also allow visitors to stay more connected while in the square area and could lead to increased downtown traffic.

"The completion of this project is the first of many steps toward developing a downtown area that reflects the great city in which we live," the mayor added.

The City of Greencastle Wireless Access Disclaimer users encounter states:

"In providing this free Wi-Fi, the city may restrict access to certain sites considered by the city to be illegal, malicious or inappropriate, and will terminate your access to this service if you use it in violation of this agreement, city policies or city guidelines. The city does not exercise control over sites you may visit and products you may use while using this Wi-Fi. You use this Wi-Fi at your own risk.

"You agree that this Wi-Fi may not be uninterrupted or error-free, viruses or other harmful applications may be available through this Wi-Fi, the city does not guarantee the security of this Wi-Fi and unauthorized third parties may access your computer or files or monitor your connection. This Wi-Fi is provided on an 'as is' or 'as available' basis without warranties of any kind.

"By logging in to this Wi-Fi, you accept these terms and conditions and agree your access to this Wi-Fi is at your own risk and is at the sole discretion of the city and may be monitored, suspended or terminated at any time for any reason, including but not limited to, violation of city policies or Internet use guidelines, violation of this agreement, actions by you that may lead to liability for the city, disruption by you of another's access to this Wi-Fi, actions by you which violate the rights of the city or of any third party, or actions by you which violate any federal, state or local law.

"You also agree not to utilize this Wi-Fi in any unauthorized manner to upload or download any copyrighted matter, in any format, nor to upload or download any pornographic, adult-oriented, hate or spam matter, in any format."


Comments
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Nice to see our hard earned tax money going to support a wifi bubble downtown (sarcasam). What would we ever do if we didn't have this "free" service, perhaps use our phones data pacakage? Seriously can anyone explain to me how this is suppose to increase traffic downtown? I suppose that this could help some of the restaurants but, call me old fashion, if they want to offer this service they should pay for it not me through my tax dollars!

-- Posted by hometownboy on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 8:30 AM

This is wonderful. Now we need to see a great coffee shop in the square! As the aforementioned comments express, there needs to be more infrastructure to combine with this free wi-fi to attract people. I would love to be one of those people downtown.

-- Posted by AlexanderAlexander on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 11:28 AM

Tax Dollars??? I must have missed that! I thought it was plainly stated that the bubble was paid for by the Stellar Community "Grant". That seems pretty clear! As far as a great coffee shop....walk two blocks and go to the Blue Door, get fit and enjoy great coffee both!

-- Posted by Seagullslim on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 12:46 PM

Seagullslim,

The grant was fromt the STATE of Indiana. Where exactly do you think they go this money from? That's right our tax dollars. Also do you really think this grant will fund this project for it's entire life? The city will have to pay for internet service and maintainence or cancel the project once the grant funds run out.

AlexanderAlexander

Think you missed my point. Yes it would be great to get a coffee shop downtown but my point is that if a business thinks this would help them then they should be paying for it themselves. This project is a waste of tax dollars and will not have any effect on attracting businesses downtown.

-- Posted by hometownboy on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 12:53 PM

Just MORE CATERING to Depew!(DePauw) Its not really about Putnam Co. residents!

-- Posted by Ya THUNK on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 1:09 PM

A matching grant , at least...not possible without DePauw. Let's give downtown a chance to change and grow and hope business and local economy does as well...otherwise we stay stagnant. Why not try and attract the DePauw community downtown and spend their money locally?

-- Posted by Seagullslim on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 2:20 PM

I think this is great. Greencastle is moving forward as a clean, inexpensive, and modern community.

-- Posted by natelien on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 2:22 PM

You commenters keep saying that this is going to attract business to downtown but can't or won't explain how. Please explain to me how a service that would cost around $30/month for a private business to offer on their own is somehow going to entice someone to risk the capital necessary to open a business that they weren't already going to open?

-- Posted by hometownboy on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 2:26 PM

You know what the sad part of this is? The lack of enthusiasm and support for rebuilding our city. I'm disappointed to see so many negative comments posted here. This is not what community is all about, or what it should reflect. We should support the efforts that are being made to re-energize Greencastle!

A wi-fi bubble is perfect! Just because someone has a data plan for a phone, doesn't mean that it's unlimited. I use wi-fi access whenever I can, it saves money on my bill. I'd love to be able to sit in Treasures on the Square at lunch and get work done at the same time!

As far as the source of the money, I'm not sure some of you have done your homework. Yes, the grant is through the State of Indiana. But that doesn't mean all of the money came from taxpayers. There are private associates set up with that fund. Do your research before you run your mouth.

Lastly, I'm going to reiterate, Greencastle will never change as long as there are nay-sayers and negative attitudes. This grant isn't about DePauw, it's about bringing all aspects of our community together. You need to accept that if it were not for DePauw, Greencastle would not have half the amenities it boasts. Do your homework, DePauw bought a fire engine for Greencastle, not your tax dollars. Support the change, support the growth, support your local businesses and if you've really got a problem, grow a pair and approach a public official instead of whining on a web site.

-- Posted by silence_dogood on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 2:51 PM

silence_dogood

Perhaps you should get your facts straight.

"The Stellar Communities program embodies collaborative government partnerships and successfully leverages STATE and FEDERAL funding from multiple agencies to undertake large-scale projects." (http://www.in.gov/ocra/2513.htm).

Don't see anything there that says anything about private funds. I agree that it'd be great if you are able to sit at Treasures and have internet access but I'm pretty sure ther's not anything stopping them from hooking up a wireless modem up and paying for it themselves.

-- Posted by hometownboy on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 3:01 PM

Also silence_dogood, this is a matching grant so even if as you seggest all the money comes from a private grant that means that 50 cents of evey dollar must be matched by the city which they raise through taxes. Tax dollars need to be spent on necessities (IE: public safety and roads) and not on pet projects from the mayor that will have absolutely no impact on the business climate of downtown. Also, are the readers familiar with the efforts to spend some of this money on a parking garage for downtown? How about the efforts to replace perfectly good traffic lights with LED lights? All of these projects are useless and will do nothing to attract business to Greencastle but they will get people like you to vote for Mayor Murray again. Buying votes with taxpayer dollars.

-- Posted by hometownboy on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 3:08 PM

Apparently you guys don't go downtown much!! First of all downtown has tried to have coffee shops but don't get the support to stay in business. Blue door use to be downtown but had to move. Treasures serves great coffee and espresso drinks and food. They have always had their own WI-FI. Almost home also has coffee and espresso. If Greencastle didn't have the money then some other town would. Let's give it a chance

-- Posted by kitkat3 on Fri, Jan 13, 2012, at 10:20 PM

Unbelievable. Try to be supportive of the community instead of naysaying every change that comes along.And hometownboy relax...I am not sure just how many of your personal tax dollars went into this project...but it is safe to assume- a very very very very small percent. Our tax dollars fund wars, too. And I don't hear you complaining about that.

-- Posted by Carla Hurst-Chandler on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 10:08 AM

Wouldn't it be great if we could make money off of complaining? Putnam County would be the richest county in the nation, second only to Putman County! And if we were given bonuses for all the grammatical and spelling errors in our posts, then we would have unlimited cash forever! What if we also got bonuses for jumping to conclusions, finger pointing and illogical assertions? Oh, and how about just plain old ignorance? Ask yourself what you personally are doing to make your own community a better place to live and work. Then we will have something to talk about. I am grateful to our city employees who are working their hearts out to help our town succeed despite all odds - including the narrow minded, short-sighted and pessimistic among us.

-- Posted by greengrass on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 10:15 AM

Wow. So much negativity. I agree with greengrass. Let's be supportive of the efforts to make Greencastle more successful and a more interesting city. Many of the naysayers sound like the same crew who wondered why we should have a better library or a skate park etc, etc. You all would just love to see Greencastle disintegrate around you. Sad. Then you would probably blame government for that too. I support Sue Murray, Becky Skillman, Depauw and all the others who made the grant happen, and I wish them luck in implementing the different facets of the grant.

-- Posted by thinkpositive on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 10:48 AM

Carla

You're right I won't complain about my tax dollars funding wars because that is a constitutional responsibility ("provide for the common defends"). Also it doesn't matter how many of my own dollars went to pay for this because it is projects like this that add up to make deficits.

Kitkat3

Great to here that treasures offers this service and it goes to show that the proper place for this to be taken care of is in the PRIVATE sector. Also per your last comment I don't blame the city for going after the grant but the grant shouldn't have been offered in the first place.

Also I find it interesting that nobody in these comments cam seem to offer any explainatoon as to how these projects are suppose to stimulate business.

-- Posted by hometownboy on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 2:20 PM

hometownboy: Mayor Murray buying our votes? Let me get this straight: So the whole purpose of going after the grant offered by our Republican Lt. Governor, Becky Skillman, was to bring Democratic Mayor Murray her own job security and in no way to enrich the lives of the people of Putnam County? I think it's far more likely that it could be that Mayor Murray is just trying to do a good job. Other cities wanted the grant and failed to get it.

This seems to be one case where both political parties came together; where the town and the university came together. Why sit on the sidelines and complain about it? I find that amazing! This is a case of naysayers attempting to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The wifi bubble is just one part of a series of steps to make downtown Greencastle a lively, diverse, intersting, modern, progressive, accessible, attractive, people-friendly place to visit, work and thrive.

All of the people who are working on these grants and putting in long hours trying to better the town deserve our prayers, credit and thanks.

If you have a suggestion about what you would do to stimulate business in our town or square why don't you add to the discussion and get involved? It seems a real cop-out to me that, instead, you just criticize those who are on the front lines trying to make things happen.

-- Posted by thinkpositive on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 4:54 PM

Thinkpositive

You want my suggestion stop wasting tax money on these programs and cut taxes. This will do more to stimulate businesses than any of the proposed projects. Also can we fialnally realize that it isn't the 50's anymore and that most brick and mortar businesses simply aren't competative in today's market. We could end up spending all this grant money and more and downtown still isn't going to be revitalized. Better to not waste our tax dollars.

-- Posted by hometownboy on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 5:51 PM

hometownboy:

I see your point and would like to hear more. I disagree with your assertion that brick and mortar businesses are not competitive. After all, we still need things that we can't get on line or wait to have delivered. Some people also enjoy the experience of shopping and mingling with other people. I think that if we tried we might be able to think about the kinds of businesses that would be successful in a small town square and a person like yourself might have an idea for that. Also, if the downtowns of cities like Greencastle were not revitalized, then what would become of them? Wouldn't they just continue to crumble and cause a bigger blight that would in turn make it even harder for people to do business?

-- Posted by greengrass on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 9:21 PM

Its Still great to see that BG still protects HOP in the paper... So does anyone really no how much it costed for this bubble.. It is not just a bubble wirelessly but also finacially for HOP who sold out their commercial computer service to a non local company, but are still doing commercial work.. You cant be serious..

-- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Sun, Jan 15, 2012, at 2:23 PM

Second.. next chapter GCPAID.. it will be FEE for service program brought to the bubble..great Idea.. can help fund this waste of Tax payer money..

-- Posted by Oh My Goodness on Sun, Jan 15, 2012, at 2:24 PM

Catering to DPU? Of course they are, you all need to realize that without that school....that town turns into fillmore. Walmart killed all the local business and the only thing keeping that place alive is that school....need to stop biting the hand that feeds.

Bubble was a good idea, but kinda costly. Next move should be for business that cater to students to open up downtown and you are set.

-- Posted by J_Mason on Mon, Jan 16, 2012, at 8:33 AM

Hoods & Capers has been located right off of the square for 2 years now and have offered free Wi-Fi since they first opened their doors.

Often new businesses like bars/resteraunts are overshadowed by the ones that have been here for so long in greencastle or been problematic in previous years. As a customer, I can say that there's something extremely positive brewing downtown and wish others would do the same.

-- Posted by coltsalltheway on Mon, Jan 16, 2012, at 7:43 PM

HOMETOWNBOY, I "seggest" you move out of town to a place more your liking or try running for office. WiFi DOES bring those with limited (or no) access to Internet at home to those areas that offer it.

Oh, and while my comments do not require your 'critique', please feel free to leave another redundant comment or two.

Wish I had further interest to read them, but even I tire of hearing a broken record.

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Jan 17, 2012, at 11:04 PM

Emmes,

Nice to know that you've never made an error in your life. I might have had a few type-o's in my comments but that doesn't mean that what I have to say isn't valid. Also, you do not know me and I have in fact brought many of my concerns to public officials and will continue to do so. My efforts here have been to alert to how the city is wasting tax dollars. WiFi may bring a small amount of business traffic to downtown but not enough to entice a business to open. If a business sees a need or benefit to offering WiFi let them pay for it not my tax dollars.

-- Posted by hometownboy on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 9:09 AM

I think that I will keep my opinions to myself on this issue - as I do not like the idea of grants in general. An interesting thing happened a few weeks ago in Cloverdale that has some bearing here. The Cloverdale Truck Stop used to have free WiFi until it became a problem. It wasn't too expensive, they had a number of people that would come in, park in a booth and stay for a few hours up to 8 or more hours. Generally the only thing they bought was a cup of coffee. Some were waiting for their wife to get off work and would spend the day on a computer. They shut it down because these were not customers, they were slugs!

-- Posted by gunner on Wed, Jan 18, 2012, at 9:22 PM

I cannot believe the negative attitudes in this city/county! This is a step in the right direction. Would all of you naysayers rather be stuck in the past without the latest technology? That does not even make since to me. I for one would like all my electronics to work to their full capablities where ever I am.

This comes at a great time especially since many Putnam County residents have recently lost their internet service provider. They live in an area that Frontier is not available yet and Airhop cannot reach them.

I also think those that oppose probably do not even know how to turn their wifi on on their devices....lol

If you prefer to have a negative attitude and remain in the horse and buggy days, go ahead. The city of Greencastle will move on without you. I for one get tired of watching the so called 'Big City' have all access, while small towns still have their lights turned off. Change is hard, but leave the attitude of 'thats the way we've always did it' at the door. Open your eyes and realize that its 2012. Greencastle must take the proper steps to remain competitive in this volitile economy.

As for Depauw, I too often feel Greencastle caters to them. The fact is that most of the students who attend Depauw have big bank accounts, and their parents have even larger bank accounts. Anytime we can encourage them to spend their money here in Greencastle we should welcome them with open arms.

-- Posted by ynm_gop on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 7:40 AM

@Oh My Goodness...

Are you aware that HOP and Airhop are separate businesses? When I recently purchased a security system from HOP I asked about rumors and what changes had been made at HOP. I was told that yes, HOP did sell part of its business to Gibson Teledata out of Terre Haute. As far as the commmercial work you are refering to you are mislead. I also inquired about airhop and the fact is the the owner of HOP is a financial partner in Airhop, thats it.

I suspect the part of the business that HOP sold was a failing and financially draining HOP. What were they supposed to do, close the entire company? When you put something up for sale and have a buyer don't you sell?

I guess if you are a business owner in this town you should do nothing, but lose money and do things for free. How dare anyone do anything that could possibly lead to a profit, goodwill, or create or save jobs in Greencastle. Shame on them....

-- Posted by ynm_gop on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 7:55 AM

ynm_gop,

Think you are not full understanding the reason for criticism from most of these posts. Nobody is saying that we should go back to the "horse and buggy days" what we are saying is that this is not a valid or appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. Yes it is nice to have wifi connectivity but that should be provided by individual businesses not by the government. Also I do not buy for a second that this initiative will help Greencastle remain "competitive in a volatile economy". The article states that service isn't for use to conduct business so businesses will still need to have internet access which means that the only savings a business would see if they wanted to offer this service would be the cost of a wireless router (~$100 for a decent one). Also, it is very insulting to assume that just because someone is against this project they must be technologically illiterate. I myself own a laptop, kindle fire, and wifi enabled smart phone. Why don't you try and make your arguments without denigrating those that don't agree with you?

-- Posted by hometownboy on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 10:29 AM

Greengrass, you crack me UP! "second only to Putman County"....I just shot Diet Pepsi out of my nose & all over my keyboard during lunch break. Thanks for the laugh! I needed it after hometownboy's rants...

-- Posted by ISUmom2012 on Fri, Jan 20, 2012, at 12:08 PM


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