KODIAK — The two harbors serving one of the largest fishing ports in the United States will soon have another amenity to offer fishermen, transient adventurers and live-aboards. Wireless Internet access throughout St. Paul and St. Herman harbor comes online in October.
Local company Coastline Computers has contracted with the city of Kodiak to provide the wireless service. The computer company takes on the expense of the equipment and operations as well as the revenue from subscriptions, while the city of Kodiak gains bandwidth to run security cameras in the harbor areas. The wireless service contract comes without cost to the city of Kodiak.
Eric Romero of Coastline Computers said he has many friends in the fishing industry, and while he doesn’t expect the Internet service to be a huge money maker, he is happy to be able to provide the service.
“If they have something out there that is secure and that they can connect to any time they want to, I think it’s going to be a good thing,” Romero said.
Kodiak’s St. Paul Harbor will be the first get the wireless internet in the next few weeks.
“That harbor is kind of tough to figure out,” Romero said. “It’s taken a while to figure out how the access points are going to have to be positioned in order to catch the whole harbor because of boats being in there (or) not being in there.”
The company has consulted with people in Homer who have experience in the issues faced by providing the Wi-Fi in a harbor.
Romero said there will be a main dish on the harbormaster building and a broadcast point in the middle of C Float, and another on a nearby light post that will provide redundant coverage for the harbor.
The Wi-Fi access will be controlled through a website that will prompt users if they want to purchase Internet service.
“It’s going to be easy for them to get on — as easy as putting a credit card in,” Romero said.
Coastline Computers will offer the Wi-Fi service for about $50 per month for a 333 kilobyte per second connection. That’s a change from an earlier plan to offer a full 1 megabyte per second connection for $99 per month.
Romero said the company decided to reduce the speed of the connection because the need of people in the harbor isn’t for activities like streaming video, and they received a lot of negative feedback on the $99 price point.
At 333 kilobyte speed, however, most Internet activities are supported. Romero said the majority of homes in Kodiak have the same Internet speed.
“It’s a pretty good medium and we were almost able to cut the price in half,” he said.
There also will be daily and weekly rates for using the wireless service.
One of the features that harbor Wi-Fi users won’t need to worry about is security, which will be top-of-the-line, Romero said.
After completing the wireless Internet services for the two harbors, Coastline Computers will install Wi-Fi at the ferry terminals.
Contact Mirror writer Wes Hanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.