DeKalb is on track to have a better public Wi-Fi setup by early summer.
The City of DeKalb and Northern Illinois University approved an intergovernmental agreement in September to expand NIU’s free public Wi-Fi use for city visitors. The project will add more access points along DeKalb’s downtown area.
Marc Thorson heads the city’s information technology department. He says Digital Lobby, the company that would provide the access, has worked with other cities and companies before but never with a city and university combined.
“We’re kind of treading new ground for the city, and we’re also kind of treading new ground with this project,” Thorson said.
Thorson says the Wi-Fi access page also would act as a message board for downtown businesses.
“If a place accepts Huskie Bucks, or if there are specials going on in those areas […] they are going to be able to provide that visibility and provide that updated information,” Thorson said.
Thorson says the completion date is subject to weather and resource availability. He says the $85,000 cost includes materials and installation, but he says it’s unclear what future costs might develop.
Thorson says user terms will be posted on the city’s website once the official service date draws nearer.