Councilman Bill Roche, director of finance, has been researching smart city technology and exploring the idea of bringing WiFi to the downtown area of Corry.

A smart city is a designation for a city that has public information and communication technologies.

If downtown streetlights have cobra heads, referring to the shape and style of the light, then there is a connection that can get a WiFi module plugged into it.

The cobra-head lights can simply be disconnected from their power cable, a module would be installed and then they would be WiFi ready, Roche said.

This would enable not only local WiFi, but give the city remote control of the lights instead of having them on timers.

The next item of research is which lights are the cobra-style lights and whether those lights are in a location that is suitable to provide WiFi to the Corry downtown area.

Roche, along with other city officials, plans to talk with smart city specialty companies to gather more information. 

No actual steps can be made toward providing public WiFi before more information, including costs, and a vote is brought to Corry City Council.

(1) comment


As I have raised several times before in social media posts, the City should explore the option of municipal broadband and looking at developing a City technology precinct on a suitable site that could attract retail and professional businesses to Corry, and perhaps even go some way towards attracting satellite offices for needed community services currently only available in Erie. The flow on benefits of this would be many.

The 4 acre site that currently houses the Family Dollar store would be an ideal location for this as it is currently a City eyesore and the out of state landlord is less than interested in doing anything with it.

In my view, all options to acquire the property should be explored. This is a golden opportunity to put Corry on the map in so many positive ways.

Chattanooga Tennessee is the original and still relevant example of the success of municipal broadband and so many other municipalities across the country are following suit.

Sure, the costs can be significant but the benefits typically outweigh the costs, including the City creating its own broadband revenue stream through on selling broadband to businesses and households.

If the City can get money for a $5 million green space park on the railroad properties then surely municipal broadband is possible.

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