Lost in the Mail: Wireless Woodstock

We have learned from a conversation with “T” Belisle of Wireless Woodstock that perhaps Woodstock Early Bird  — and the Village Trustees — should not think too poorly of the public access wi-fi organization over the issue of affixing wireless repeater boxes to Village lampposts.

Belisle says his group had every intention of asking Trustees for permission to mount their CISCO boxes and, in fact, had written a letter of request to be delivered to them. Unfortunately, word is the letter got stuck in a pile and was not able to get to the Trustees before a technician needed to run tests using the devices.  Belisle says he contacted Municipal Manager Phil Swanson about the issue of the request and was told it be would alright to temporarily affix the wi-fi repeaters pending a decision by the Trustees.  This information was not presented at Tuesday night’s Trustees meetings.

No disrespect intended, according to Belisle, who was not able to be at Tuesday’s Trustees meeting. He hopes the Trustees will continue to work with Wireless Woodstock to provide public access in the Village and places that devices might be mounted. He says the cost of cutting-edge technology equipment is high and the group is faced with the fast changes to wi-fi equipment going on in the industry.  In fact that device affixed to the lamp-post is the “latest thing” and works well in a broader range but within a distinct “cone of silence” under the device itself, the signal is limited.  Technology can be glitchy as Woodstock Early Bird is daily aware.

We have also learned that sometimes the reason we haven’t had Wireless Woodstock wi-fi access 24/7 in the Village is not really that complicated. It comes down to the loss of bandwidth due to shared use. The wi-fi signal itself comes from the Norman Williams Public Library. Due to programs running there and bandwidth needs of library employees and users, occasionally  a simple solution to meet the library’s needs has been to simply turn off the device that provides Wireless Woodstock wi-fi access beyond the library.

However, that is the past. Let’s bring things up to date: Yes, one can now get Wireless Woodstock wi-fi access while sitting on a bench on the Village Green, albeit glitchy under “THE CONE OF SILENCE.” We saw several people using their laptops and phones yesterday afternoon and found out they had access via Wireless Woodstock.   Adequate but not great. Wireless Woodstock is looking forward to being part of  the Woodstock Digital Media Festival coming up on June 22nd-24th. (more on that soon…)   “T” Belisle says of the Wireless Woodstock project (and others he’s got in the pipeline), “We just want to do good. That’s all I want: To Do Good!”

4 responses to this post.

  1. I visited the Market on The Green yesterday afternoon and was happy to find that Woodstock Wireless was once again available. Thank you T! A quick run of SpeedTest on my iPhone reminded me that we need to use this valuable resource for the purpose it was intended. WW is a shared branch off a shared branch off a shared branch. So, until we get our gigabit fiber installed at the Library, no watching videos on The Green. OK?

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  2. Posted by Careen on June 15, 2012 at 10:29

    Although I have no personal experience with WW, I have observed countless people experience significant frustration trying to access service through WW. These people are, generally, visitors to the area who have come from areas where wireless access is not so elusive. I understand the “glitchy” nature of the wireless thing but the big promotion of the service followed by its continuous issues has left people questioning the credibility of the resource. Is it back up? Will it be back up? Will it ever be something that is reliable? Just wondering what the latest is because , due to the nature of my job, I have alot of contact with people trying to use WW and would like to be passing along accurate info to them

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    • Careen, we think it is safe to let folks know that if they are on the Village Green or near the front of the library (or parked outside it), they will be able to gain the free Wireless Woodstock access. It has been turned back on from what we can tell. Otherwise the WW folks they are still working to improve the service as they keep up with changing technology. We’re sure they’ll let us know if there is some further change. WEB

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  3. Given that there are 76 parking spaces that encircle The Green, my hope is that WW will get their service running reliably in that area first And how about a little sign on the Visitor’s Booth: “Free Wireless Here” ??

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