Something Old, Something New

Daniel Surratt can fix your 1908 Victrola.

Meanwhile, the city might offer wireless Internet access by the end of the year.

So if you had wireless access to the Internet, how would that serve you? Would you be willing to pay for it?

Offering wireless is something done in other cities, some with great success and others not so much. The libraries here have the access and it can be a pretty handy tool.

When I was covering Bainbridge Island I had a company-issued laptop. Sometimes if we wanted to turn a story around the next day, I would leave a meeting at city hall, drive to the library and either park in the perfect spot or walk up close enough to the library building to connect wirelessly and send the story from there. Sometimes it was nice to be out and about and be able to stop in and check my e-mails and perform other tasks as if I were in my office.

Now that I work out of the Bremerton office the need is not as acute. However, I could see getting my own laptop, sitting in a council meeting, writing the story as it transpires and filing it, saving precious seconds over walking from city hall and writing and filing it here. OK, it would save minutes.

If you live in Seattle and do business over here I could see the wireless network being a benefit. And the other way around: If you live here and do biz in Seattle, you can be waiting at the ferry terminal, get connected and collect everything you need until the boat leaves. Once you’re in the water you’re out of luck, for now, but I understand the WSF folks are still working on that.

So do you think wireless would be a benefit to Bremerton? Is there any reason you can think of the city should’t pursue this? If the city does do it, do you have any ideas for how it should be delivered?

5 thoughts on “Something Old, Something New

  1. Steve,

    I am enjoying your laptop very much. How did I ever manage without one? Everyone still misses you and your excellent coverage out here.


  2. Why limit this to the city of Bremerton? I have been waiting for an alternative to dial-up since I moved to Seabeck 3 years ago. No cable in my neighborhood and Qwest says I’m too far from the equipment for DSL. I can’t believe that I am the only one in rural Kitsap County that is willing to pay for broadband access but can’t get it because of the limits of today’s technology. A wireless network in the city is appealing, if only to boost the city’s image as a forward-looking community that will accommodate businesses that rely on technology for day-to-day operations. I, however, am waiting for the day when somebody (Are you listening Verizon?) can offer me reasonable priced high-speed access in my own home.

  3. Well, Dan, that’s a great question for the county to address.

    Tangent: Isn’t it interesting, and I’m not the first to point this out, that cable television was first created to get to outlying areas that didn’t get regular television transmission. Now, however, we’re back to the old model of the more remotely you live the more difficult it is to get the latest technology.

    One reason is cable television and Internet companies don’t have to deliver service to rural areas, while phone companies do. So you’re required to have access to dial-up technology, but technology companies can wait as long as they want to provide high-speed access.

    I feel your pain. I’ve had high-speed access at home for a couple years now. We even get our phone service through our Internet connection and actually save money on phone service because we have free long distance to anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

    From a long-term outlook, I see a day when you could go almost anywhere in the world and be able to hook up to the Internet and use your cell phone. We’re not there yet, though, are we.

  4. Steve, my company outfit me with a Verizon wireless broadband card, which works great. I commute via ferry to Seattle, and it is a great tool.

    I would be more than happy to pay for wireless access and not pay Comcast for it.

    Given the housing being built downtown on the waterfront and impending work at East Park, the time may be right to do something like this. We have to think of the internet as a vital utility, much like water, gas, sewer, electricity, and the like.

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