From STAFF REPORTS

Tennessee’s Oldest Town has added two new amenities just in time for the National Storytelling Festival, partnering with BrightRidge and Washington County to offer free downtown WiFi along Main Street and the Courthouse Square while the town’s first electric vehicle charging station is also now online this week.

Under the cooperative WiFi agreement, BrightRidge provided the network engineering, installed fiber optic service and wireless access points, and will monitor and maintain the network remotely. The Town of Jonesborough and Washington County jointly purchased all equipment and software, with the Town covering the cost of monthly service.

“Our talented staff work every day to provide the best possible amenities to our downtown Jonesborough visitors,” Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest said Tuesday. “Through partnering with BrightRidge, visitors to the 2019 Storytelling Festival will find high-capacity WiFi access available free of charge and they can even top off their vehicle while enjoying the Festival at the new electric vehicle charging station located in the Post Office lot next to the Visitors’ Center.”

Under the agreement, BrightRidge is providing a symmetrical 250 Mb/250Mb service available free for public use only, although bandwidth is limited per user and in duration. Accommodations are also being provided for street vendors during special events and large gatherings. The network can be accessed by selecting JBO_WiFi from available options on a device settings menu.

“We are pleased to continue partnering with our customers and local governments to provide the best possible service to our visitors and residents alike,” BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes said. “Along with the region’s only electric vehicle charging network, we work daily to provide leading edge electric and connectivity services that are second to none.”

The BrightRidge EV Charging Network consists of 240-volt Level 2 chargers, with charging capacity sufficient to provide a minimum of 25 miles or more of range per hour of charging, depending on the vehicle type and onboard charging equipment.

BrightRidge charging stations are located at the Hands On/Gray Fossil site, downtown Jonesborough, and in downtown Johnson City at King Commons near the Johnson City Public Library. Additional locations are coming to the Farmer’s Market in Johnson City as well as the BrightRidge corporate office at 2600 Boone’s Creek Road. Both the Gray Fossil Site and BrightRidge corporate locations are offered to customers free of charge at launch.

Charging stations in Jonesborough and Johnson City are available at a rate of $2 for the first hour, $1 per hour thereafter. After five hours of charging, the rate goes back to $2 per hour to promote sharing and discourage monopolization of charging stations.

Motorists should note it is considered poor etiquette to park a standard gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle at a designated EV charging station.