Kiosks To Bring Free Wi-Fi To Newport

Aug 23, 2016

The first free Wi-Fi nodes in the region will be going up in Newport later this year.

As many as 30 kiosks will be installed. Jon Salisbury with Nexigen says they'll be nine feet tall, wrapped in carbon fiber, and will help users connect with the city.

"They have multiple large outdoor displays, as well as extremely fast Wi-Fi internet access, charging stations, as well as tablet devices."

Salisbury says the nodes are a public-private partnership, and Newport will make money through ad revenue.

"Based on preliminary, anticipatory numbers, we believe the city could make anywhere between $6,000 and $14,000 monthly."

Salisbury says 150 businesses have already signed on as advertisers.

He says the nodes will have access to a city-based portal called Genius. It will allow users to find information about the city, including events and news.

"For cities, this has a very specific application where wayfinding and the Genius portals really tie in. For businesses there's different kinds of applications that really help them on the marketing front."

Salisbury says he wants the first one installed by December 1, with the rest going in over the next year.

Where exactly they'll be placed is still being researched.

"These things are based on ad revenue, so we do need a minimum amount of traffic to go by the nodes," he says. Right now, Nexigen is looking at Monmouth Street, York Street, the Levee, and in south Newport.

Similar nodes are already in use in New York City.