Wi-Fi Internet (RedZone)

You can't smell it, see it or taste it, and without a computer, you wont’ even know its there. But a wireless-enabled laptop computer knows what it is, and how to find it.

The City of Augusta is providing new, high speed wireless Internet system for free for the first 50 businesses that sign up, free to explorers and available to downtown settlers for a small fee. Augusta could be one of the few cities in the country to provide this Wi-Fi service free for business use. The service is intended to attract businesses, explorers and settlers to the downtown and help keep them there.

“We use it. I think it’s incredible, I’m a big fan of it,” said Frank Coco, co owner, with his brother, Anthony, of the Visage Salon and Day Spa on Water Street.

The W-Fi signal is available within most of the Historic Riverfront District, from approximately the Hartford Fire Station to Mill Park. It also travels across the river to City Center.

Patrick Quigg, owner of the Riverfront BBQ and Grill said his business uses the Wi-Fi service, and he also sees customers using it on their laptops while at the restaurant.

Explorers to the Riverfront Historic District with wireless-enabled laptops should be able to find the City’s Wi-Fi service and connect for free. Explorers must register for an account to use the system. The account expires after seven days, but may be renewed, also free. The service is available to downtown settlers, but at a cost.

Three tiers of residential service vary in cost based upon the amount of bandwidth speed. The different tiers cost $9.95, $19.95 or $24.95. The $24.95 level will provide the fastest Internet service available in the area. About 40 businesses have signed up for the service and about a dozen residents.

The Wi-Fi system is part of other efforts to revitalize the Historic Riverfront District downtown area, including the recent installation of signage throughout the City directing motorist to the Historic Riverfront District.

For additional information on the Wi-Fi service, or to register online, please visit www.RedZonewireless.com or call Dan Nichols, City of Augusta, at 626.2336, ext. 4177 or daniel.nichols@augustamaine.gov