Port City To Move Forward With Free Wi-Fi Plan

OSWEGO, NY – Mayor Billy Barlow presented his proposal to implement free public Wi-Fi throughout downtown Oswego to the Administrative Services Committee. The response from the councilors and others was positive.

The Port City needs internet access downtown to make it more attractive to residents and visitors, he explained.

This goes hand in hand with the city’s downtown revitalization plans, he pointed out.

“Actually, in that application, having free public access to the internet is worth points on the application,” the mayor said. “Unfortunately we missed out on those points on the application. But we were thinking why not be proactive.”

“In an effort to enhance our downtown, modernize our community and to attract working class families to our downtown and spend money downtown … I think it’s important to have free public access to Wi-Fi downtown,” Barlow told the committee.

Free Wi-Fi will attract more people downtown, and they stay longer to socialize and congregate, he said, adding that he wasn’t talking about just restaurants and coffee shops – but everywhere downtown.

The city will no longer have to rely on using cable in places like the marina, he said, which will save the city funds in the long-run. Wi-Fi was recently added there.

They will establish the boundaries for the hot spots.

The city will purchase three portals and put them around downtown, in the shape of a triangle, the mayor explained.

“It will cover the area we want to serve,” he said. “So, we need about three of those. They are $3,170 each. I propose buying four so we have one backup in case something happens. The server will cost $2,486. It’s in the budget so we’re not going to need new funds. We’re also saving money, changing from cable to Wi-Fi.”

It’s a one-time fee, the mayor said of the hardware.

The price tag to maintain the system will be $2,500 a month, the mayor said.

People who live in downtown would have the ability to jump on and use the services, he added.

“There’s nothing stopping them. But obviously we prefer they don’t hop on,” he said.

If many people get on all at once, during Harborfest, for instance, it could slow down the service. However, the mayor believes the system will be sufficient to handle the heavy traffic.


  1. 3 portals @ $3170.00 each
    server @ $2486.00
    monthly maintenance @ $2500.00
    Only in government can a cost like this be called “free”

  2. If I lived out of town, I surely would not be thinking ” Lets travel to Down Town Oswego today and get some pizza because they have free Wi-Fi”
    A lot of money for something that is so called “Free”

  3. Why cant people who live down town hop on it if They want. You prefer then not to hop on it. We the ones living in this town have to pay for it. So what the heck gives him the right to tell us he prefer us not on it if we pay for it. I just cant believe the money wasted on this. Big mistake voting for him.

  4. With the condition of the city streets and the general decline of Oswego, this is not how $30,000 a year should be spent. I can just see people sitting in their cars surfing the net. And this is going to benefit the city? How? I was born and raised in Oswego. I am thankful that I live in the town now and only have to drive on the terrible roads through the city. If I were a city resident, I would be way more mad than I am right now. City of Oswego taxpayers, you are being taxed to death and now this? Don’t stand for it!

  5. wow…….rising taxes and sewer fees…..pot holes all over the roads….increasing crime (ask a cop)…..decaying properties…..and free wifi is the answer……..are we even going to try to address any current problems or just continue to ignore them and hope enough tax payers stay and pay the bills? At what point do you admit we cant continue down this path???? Taxes are too high and too few people pay them!!!

  6. We’re paying $1100 a year for water & sewer – why not put that money toward paying the sewer improvements or not raising the tax next year?

  7. We’ve got to be the laughing stock of the entire over-taxed state of New York…we’re surely the most financially-raped! Can’t wait to get out of here & once everyone like me does…this place will implode on itself; watch & see & keep the tissues handy!

  8. Is the Mayor paying for this out of his salary? I think not! We the tax payers will foot the bill to a tune of $30,000 a year (do the math)! There are plenty of other things our tax money should be used for, not free WiFi!!!! What a farce!

  9. This is crazy looking at it even from Fulton where our city is broke but at least made the school budget without cutting all the kids programs like Oswego City Schools did. Yup, FREE Wi-Fi is more important for just a handful of people…. Service and maintenance $2,500 a month @ $30,000 a year. WOW, almost $50, 000 for the first year.

  10. This is one of the new age millenial attracting gimmee gimmicks. In reality it does nothing. Most people have smart phones with internet access. Even then, few people troll the general internet vs. the big apps like FB, Twitter, etc. There is zero evidence to suggest more people will come downtown and stay longer. You need suitable places to hang and spend money. I guess the local bum on the park bench with an Obama phone will now stay on the park bench a little longer. Precious tax dollars thrown to the wind.

  11. I am just wondering now that the mayor’s plan was given the green light. Which one of the mayor’s friends will supply the equipment that will be needed for this free WiFi?

  12. Just what Ozwego needs, more Zombies walking around downtown Ozwego looking down at their phones and computers while trying to cross Bridge Street without looking up! I am beginning to get tired of getting bumped into and all the near misses because of these “Zombies” always looking down instead of where they are going! It’s time to put up ”Zombie Crossing Signs” This Robotic age that we now live in is already way out of control now so why not just add to it by putting in “Downtown Internet”!

  13. Absolutely asinine, fix the streets, address the outragious Sewer/Water bill. That would help the tax payers of Oswego. A group that is growing smaller every year of which many are on a fixed incomes. I’ll pay for my own internet…

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