Purcellville’s effort to roll out a town-wide Wi-Fi program is beginning to make progress.
A Wi-Fi pilot program at Fireman’s Field was implemented last weekend, providing free internet for visitors to the complex. Although town IT Director Shannon Bohince said he didn’t have any statistics yet, he was happy with the performance he saw.
“I’ve gotten as high as 30 [Mbps] on upload speeds and around 20 on download speeds,” he said. “It really just depends on your location.”
With four antennas—three around the Fireman’s Field stadium and one on the press box in center field—Bohince said the Wi-Fi’s range extends from Dillon’s Woods to halfway between the complex and Town Hall.
“I was really pleased with the coverage that we’re getting over there,” he said.
To access the Wi-Fi, users must be in range, join the “Fireman’s Field” network and accept the terms and conditions on a login page. No password is required.
Vice Mayor Nedim Ogelman was one of the pilot program’s initial users. He and Councilwoman Karen Jimmerson have been spearheading the effort to expand internet alternatives in town.
“It’s a starting point for us,” Ogelman said. “Our objective is to help our town’s business and citizens.”
Bohince is working with food, souvenir and ticket vendors to set up a system that would allow them to use the internet service for credit card transactions during an event at the complex.
While this is a slow time at Fireman’s Field, the Wi-Fi system will remain active through the winter. More testing will be done in spring, when larger crowds show up.
The town’s plans to install a similar system at the water plant are also under development, Bohince said, starting with a feasibility study.
“We are still looking at ways of building our internal infrastructure,” he said. “We’re still pursuing that.”
He estimated this part of the project would take about a year to complete.