Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


July 10, 2013

Tiny Walton still wireless

It’s been almost three years since the town of Walton began offering free Internet access.

A 65-foot tower behind the Walton library allowed nearly every person in town to log on to the Internet from home beginning July 2010.

It was a groundbreaking venture for a small town in Indiana.

Free Wi-Fi access is the sort of thing you might find in much larger communities. It puts Walton in the company of places such as Seattle, where the University of Washington campus announced a plan to offer widespread wireless access in 2005, or Atlanta, which announced plans for a citywide wireless network in 2003.

Clearly, Walton is not San Francisco or Austin, Texas, or any of the other large cities with widespread wireless access, but this project is an example of what a small community can accomplish when its residents join together with a common goal.

The project wasn’t terribly expensive. The startup cost for the system, including electronics, was about $7,000. Several groups, including the Walton & Tipton Township Library, Walton Main Street and town officials, came together to pay for it. Supporters even conducted garage sales and other fundraisers.

Walton’s former library director Gordon Southern, who has been assisting in the office since his retirement June 30, said the community has quadrupled its initial bandwidth capacity with a fourth T1 line in June. That additional line has mostly eliminated wireless outages during peak hours of usage, he said. But things still slow down a tad between 3 and 5 p.m. weekdays.

The next step, if the library chooses, would be to install fiber-optic cable. It would retrieve data at speeds as high as 30 times faster than a T1 line. Live-streaming of audio and video likely would be seamless.

But for now, anyone within sight of the transmission tower has access to free, reliable Internet service. Between 75 and 80 percent of the annual $17,700 cost is paid for with federal grants, and the library picks up the rest.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • A great way to offer help The United Way of Howard County does so much for this community that it would be difficult, in this space, to describe even a fraction of the things United Way donations accomplish.Think what Kokomo and Howard County would lose if there were no Court

    July 25, 2014

  • MARK HEINIG JR.: Will Pence, Ritz and their playmates ever grow up? Many Hoosier Republicans are curious about Gov. Mike Pence’s future. He probably is, too. Assuming he doesn’t wish to return to Congress or retire from politics, he must decide whether to seek another term as governor of Indiana or run for president

    July 25, 2014

  • LETTERS: Mast homestead celebrates 150 years Mast homestead celebrates 150 yearsThe two-story frame, Pennsylvania-Dutch style house on the Larry and Barbara Hensler farm 2 miles west of Plevna is 150 years old this year. In fact it may even be a little older than that. Lloyd Hensler used to say

    July 25, 2014

  • LEE HAMILTON: Why congressional incumbents keep getting re-elected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 25, 2014

  • Road must be made safer Eight months ago, the Indiana Department of Transportation opened the new U.S. 31 bypass east of Kokomo. Joining Mayor Greg Goodnight was Gov. Mike Pence. Even the Kokomo High School marching band performed at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was the

    July 24, 2014

  • SEN. JIM BUCK: New laws offer help for kids Families with children who have special needs often face difficulties finding the best care or treatment for their specific circumstance. During the 2014 legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several initiatives to assist these fam

    July 24, 2014

  • LETTERS: Christians must stand with Israel 'As Christians we must stand with life' The present conflict in Israel is with Hamas, recognized even in Egypt as a terrorist organization. Recently Hamas formed a unity government with the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. They're now the government in

    July 24, 2014

  • BILL STANCZYKIEWICZ: Youth sports leagues are on troubling decline An important youth development activity is looking to end a recent losing streak. Participation in organized youth sports leagues for baseball, football, basketball and soccer declined by 4 percent between 2008-2012, according to a report in the Wall

    July 24, 2014

  • Keep eye out for kids

    With most local schools welcoming students in a couple of weeks — and Kokomo schools beginning class Aug. 5 (yes, a week from this coming Tuesday) — it’s important for motorists to think about safe driving as children travel to and from school.Law en

    July 23, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Expiring term heightens urgency of legislator's mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying i

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.