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
  • 'Reads' panel narrows titles Howard County Reads, a program introduced in 2004 to cultivate a love of reading and promote a sense of community, is another step closer to selecting a book for its 10th anniversary.In February, county residents began nominating a favorite for consi

    August 1, 2014

  • LETTERS: Concert Series 'beautiful musical experience' Store employees should split prizeSeveral weeks ago, a winning lottery ticket was purchased at one of our larger grocery stores. What I’d like to know is why the upper-management get a large cash prize (which they don’t need) while the employees of t

    August 1, 2014

  • Work program requires buy-in from industry Good help is hard to find.That’s essentially what Indiana companies have insisted for several years. The state struggles with a “skills gap,” the firms explain. They need employees, but can’t find enough — or in some cases, any — qualified Hoosiers.

    August 1, 2014

  • Take a walk to school At the risk of sounding like “old fogies,” we remember walking to school when we were kids.Back in the day, that’s how it was. If it was within walking distance, you were walking to school.Today, like much else, it’s a very different picture. The vas

    July 31, 2014

  • DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTERS: Marriage culture in area must change Marriage culture in area must change Last week's article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Kids Count report caught my eye. While I'm happy that Indiana is improving in the educational domain, the poverty statistics are saddening. I was just s

    July 31, 2014

  • A lookat IU salaries Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 31, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep

    It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
    On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plot a plan to quit now OK, so maybe today isn’t the perfect day to quit smoking. For years, the experts were preaching any day was a good day to quit, and they had annual campaigns encouraging people to give up the habit.The campaigns raised awareness, and they led many sm

    July 30, 2014

  • LETTERS: City should celebrate its young track star City should celebrate its young track starCongratulations to Tionna Brown, who has given the city of Kokomo the platform to acknowledge what commitment, perseverance, sacrifice and determination can do.I find this a unique opportunity for her Common

    July 30, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction

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.