By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Ballard Park visitors now can access the Internet wirelessly thanks to a new Wi-Fi service the city launched there this month.
The service allows 50 users to go online at the same time from anywhere within the 208-acre park, which includes playgrounds, green spaces and a sprawling athletic complex.
Park officials initially wanted to provide out-of-town tournament participants a way to check online updates about games. But they said all park users will be able to enjoy the free service.
“A lot of the sports associations we work with want us to provide them live, up-to-the-minute information about stats and things,” said Don Lewis, Parks and Recreation director. “This is a way to do that, plus have Internet access for residents who use the park.”
Wi-Fi is a popular technology that allows a laptop or other electronic device to connect to the Internet without having to plug into a physical outlet.
Tupelo also provides this service inside its City Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall and in the fountain area outside the municipal building.
The municipality’s Information Technology staff installed the Wi-Fi at Ballard Park instead of outsourcing the project. Lewis said it cost about $5,000.
Upon logging on the Internet, Ballard Park visitors will be asked to accept the city’s terms and conditions before they’ll be able to surf the web. They also will be forbidden from accessing inappropriate websites.