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Free Wi-Fi offered on Main Street

Free Wi-Fi service was installed last year in areas of downtown Jonesborough, providing individuals with the opportunity to scroll through the Internet while sitting outdoors and soaking up the sun.
Main Street Program Coordinator Melinda Copp said the town began looking into installing Wi-Fi service for downtown Jonesborough late last winter with the hopes of having it installed last May. The idea was investigated, she said, because the town wanted to offer people who were strolling through downtown, especially in the seating areas, free Wi-Fi service.
A Wi-Fi satellite was installed on the balcony of the International Storytelling Center last summer and serves the east side of the courthouse to the Main Street Cafe.
“We did it as a test to see how well it did and to see how people responded to it,” Copp said. “It is functional and nice to have. I feel like it’s expected in a lot of places.”
Town Administrator Bob Browning said the initial set up for the Wi-Fi service was a little more than $4,000.
The service, she said, does not work inside the brick buildings because the signal strength is not strong enough. There are, however, plenty of gathering areas outside where individuals can sit and use the free service.
The chairs and tables in front of the International Storytelling Center were brought back outside last week offering a great space for individuals to hook into the service.
“It’s available. Feel free to come and hang out in downtown,” Copp said.
Individuals who wish to use the free service can search for the Wi-Fi signal, TOJ wireless, on their device. Copp said the user has to first accept an agreement before the service takes them to www.jonesborough.com.
“That welcomes you to Jonesborough, so if people need information they can get it from there,” she said.
Browning said with warmer outside temperatures, they will get a better idea of the value and success of the Wi-Fi service through this summer.
With the Boone Street Market opening this summer, Copp said, town officials are considering the possibility of installing another satellite in that area.
Browning said when they initially looked into downtown Wi-Fi service, they also researched potential sites for the repeating Wi-Fi antenna. As of last week, he said, there has not been a decision made on expanding the Wi-Fi area.