Meridian Star

August 12, 2013

Natchez adding public wi-fi spots to meet demand


Associated Press

Natchez —

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) — Adams County's government buildings in downtown Natchez will soon become public Wi-Fi hotspots.

County Information Technology Director Lance Bishop tells The Natchez Democrat (http://bit.ly/167MVtQ ) the wireless access would be provided as part of the county's ongoing technology overhaul.

"In the county courtrooms, we are getting to where more and more of the lawyers and defendants want to access the Internet, and so many people now have smartphones and they leave their wireless on and connect to whatever is around," Bishop said. "We had so many people getting on the wireless here that it was beginning to create issues."

The public wireless system will be installed in part using components that are part of the new phone system Bishop is installing.

"In order to save money, I bought a wireless solution that I did not have to buy a lot of components for, but it is dependent on some newer switch technology that is on the phone system," he said.

The wireless system will allow the public to access the Internet, but it won't allow them into the county network at all. The current wireless system — which is not open — nonetheless has security problems that the new system will address, Bishop said.

The phone system that the wireless system will tie into will replace most of the county's standard business lines with a voice-over-IP system.