The City of Montesano has landed in the 21st Century. Public Wi-Fi became a reality last week.
Limited at 90 minutes, the city is offering Wi-Fi access to the public for free throughout downtown.
In haphazard travels, The Vidette found Wi-Fi out at Dennis Company, at about South Fourth Street and West Pioneer Avenue, and on South Main Street from City Hall south to East Wynooche Avenue. A signal could be detected on East Pioneer Avenue to about South Sylvia Street, or perhaps a little further.
In no way scientific, The Vidette’s test was performed using a Droid Mini smartphone. Coverage is spotty between those points. A signal is not detectable at The Vidette’s office at 109 W. Marcy Ave., less than a block from Main Street.
While parked in front of City Hall using a Dell Inspiron 15 laptop, The Vidette connected the signal, which stated “Montesano Welcomes You.”
The splash page (a page that first displays in a web browser when connecting to public Wi-Fi), while inelegant, gets the job done.
“#MontesanoWelcomesYou. This free wifi service is brought to you by… Rich Hartman’s Five Start Dealerships,” the splash page reads, show the auto dealer’s logo.
“The purpose of the service is to provide limited free public wireless Internet access to visitors in the city,” the terms state.
Each device will have 90 minutes of connect per day. The connection time will reset at 12:01 a.m.
The terms prohibit several unacceptable uses including “hacking” and “Illegal activities” and also notes that using the public Wi-Fi is “at your own risk.”
“It is available to the general public, and is not inherently secure,” the terms state. “The city cannot and does not guarantee the privacy of your data and communication.”
Mayor Vini Samuel had made free public Wi-Fi part of her campaign during the 2015 Montesano mayoral race. Her introduction of the service was without great fanfare.
“We’ve been beta testing — if you guys pick up your phones and take a look, it should say ‘Montesano Welcomes You’ — and today we have downtown Wi-Fi active and working,” Samuel said at the Montesano City Council meeting on Sept. 19.