City leaders have been working to make Davenport “digital”. Crews have been laying fiber optic cables under downtown streets; and now some are ready to take that to the next level, offering free wi-fi for all home and business owners, and more. But, they’re asking for your help to make it happen.
Alderman Bill Boom says, “We’ll be connected every bit as fast as the financial institutions in downtown Chicago.” He tells us it’s a matter of building on the big cross country fiber that carries internet across our nation. Not only within city departments, but out into the community as well, potentially supplying internet service to Davenport homes and businesses at speeds of up to 30 gig and free wi-fi within the city limits. “It’ll be great if you’ll be able to… in one of our parks and be able to access wifi for music or whatever.”
But Boom says city leaders don’t want to stop there. The broadband initiative could also allow for sensors in the streets, to determine how cold they actually are and how much salt is needed. “We face icing conditions, we just salt everything right now,” Boom says. “So we could be more specific, putting less sodium, you know, table salt on the street. You know that’s an environmental issue.”
He tells us traffic flow is another issue this complicated technology could simplify. “You look at our street lights, we have, I think it’s five people, and all they do is go around and all they do is reset the timing on these street lights. Because a little bit of lightning, a little bit of whatever, they go out of synchronization. When this is all done, we’ll be able to do that with one guy and a laptop.” Whether, he says, for a big event or an emergency.
At this point, a consultant is on board. And city leaders are looking at capabilities and costs, now asking citizens what services they’d like to see. City leaders have posted a broadband survey on the Davenport website for residential and business customers to complete which you can access by clicking here.