Photo: Piet Jaspers (Flickr)
Free Wi-Fi is now available to people in downtown Terre Haute, but the service is limited and runs slower than some comparable cellular data connections which may already be operating on phones and tablet computers.
The free connection provided by Frontier Communications is limited to 100 customers at a time. Beyond that number of connections, says Frontier spokesman Roscoe Spencer, the company makes money.
“The first 100 customers there, there’s no charge for them to actually gain access to the internet,” Spencer says. “If you are number 101 though, there’s a small daily fee. Or if you would like to use a monthly fee to access it, you can certainly do it as well.”
Spencer says the free service is aimed at parents who might visit children at Indiana State University. ISU spokesman Dave Taylor, estimates between 6,000 and 7,000 family members are expected to drop students off to begin classes next month.
Spencer adds the company’s Wi-Fi offers two speeds: The free service can download data at a speed of three megabytes per second, the pay service at about seven. But that’s slower than service offered by some cellular providers.
Verizon spokesperson Michelle Gilbert declined to say how many towers or customers her company has in Terre Haute, but says the download speeds for the company’s top-of-the-line internet average five to 12 megabytes of data per second.