New street lighting is coming to parts of Plainville and with it, free wireless internet for people to use in the downtown area.
The plan is to scrap decades old high-pressure sodium lights and add more than 1,400 energy efficient LED lights.
Beyond that, the town would add more than 120 fixtures that would provide wireless hot spots in the center of town.
It’s a project that’s been in the works for a year, and has been approved by town council.
“I think it's really an initiative as the council to maybe try this as an experiment and maybe expand it to the rest of the community as well,” Plainville Town Manager Robert Lee said.
Currently there is no WI-FI in the downtown including at Laundromat owned by Gary Christiana. He said his customers keep asking the same question.
“They would want to see some Wi-Fi here and I hear it more and more,” Christiana said
The town expects to pay about $3,700 per year for the internet service that would be free for people downtown, but Lee said it would save $75,000 per year by replacing the old lights and putting in the LED lights.
“It’s going to be embedded into the light itself. There's a chip that goes into it that allows it to be tied in,” Lee said.
Lee said the new lights are a way for the town to save tens of thousands of dollars every year and give downtown visitors a little more enjoyment.
“Especially restaurants where people have to sit down for a long time,” Lee said.
Christiana said he feels this will be good for his customers and he’ll take advantage of the free Wi-Fi, himself.
“I'm always surfing the web to find parts for machines working on trying to keep the Laundromat going,” Christiana said.
The work is expected to start soon with the new lights and web usable sometime in October.
Copyright 2015 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.