Fort Bragg Free Public Wifi Project

Bringing Free Public Wifi to the City of Fort Bragg

Fort Bragg Wifi Project

Background

Fort Bragg is the city in which I was born and raised.

Fort Bragg is a small town. It has a single high school, and a small business district consisting of a few square blocks.

I was living in Fort Bragg after graduating from university and was trying to retool myself for a career as a software engineer. I had a home lab with a few hypervisors (read: old desktops) and a few free monitors. I was playing with different operating systems and doing basic freelance webdev and database work for local businesses.

There was an accident in Mendocino County along the Comptche-Ukiah road that left the coast of Mendocino County without internet for 45 hours 1. This was an inciting incident for me. I realized there was an oportunity for the City of Fort Bragg to host free wifi for the business district in Fort Bragg relatively cheaply (<$10,000). And that this could also be used in times of emergency or internet outage to help broadcast information when normal internet and phone services are out.

With a broader plan, the City of Fort Bragg could even cover larger areas of the city with coverage. The City could even host an ‘intranet’ with local information. This could be useful even without a major outage for providing a community resource with local information, hosted locally.

Timeline

Fall 2014: Approach City Council members Scott Deitz and Mayor Dave Turner with Wifi proposal

Winter 2014: Fort Bragg Wifi Information site goes live

Jan 2015: Ad-Hoc committee created by City Council City Agenda/Meeting Notes

Jul 2015: Ad-Hoc Committe reports with costs and implementation timeline. City Agenda/Meeting Notes

Feb 2016: Fort Bragg Wifi goes live! City Notice