Decatur Goes With Free Wi-Fi

The city commission also voted to shrink the service area footprint.

The Decatur City Commission voted 5-0 Monday night .

The commission also approved limiting Wi-Fi service to the city's business districts and , and parks. Most residential neighborhoods won't be able to connect in the future.

Assistant City Manager Andrea Arnold said the service will be provided along Ponce de Leon Avenue, roughly from the to the Avondale Marta station. In Oakhurst, it will be available at the commercial area at East Lake and Oakview.

Arnold told the board that most residents already have internet service through cable providers. Because of Decatur's heavy tree canopy, the Wi-Fi service was spotty in neighborhoods.

Commission Fred Boykin and Mayor Bill Floyd wondered aloud if they city should spend money on Wi-Fi since many businesses already provide that service.

"Is it taxpayers' responsibility to provide this service in public areas?" Floyd asked. He said he supported free Wi-Fi because some public areas wouldn't have it otherwise.

Arnold said the free service is part of the city's strategic plan of attracting creative enterprises, almost all which rely on internet service.

The city will spend about $24,000 to maintain the service for a year and then the commission will decide if it wants to continue.

The board also approved spending $189,000 to purchase new equipment. Arnold said the original equipment installed in 2008 is now obsolete.

Here are some previous stories about Decatur's Wi-Fi system.


Lee Coursey August 07, 2012 at 07:07 PM
"Free" as in "Paid for by the fine upstanding property owners who live in the City of Decatur." You're welcome.


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