Whitewright installs free WiFi for entire downtown

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WHITEWRIGHT, TX -- The Whitewright Economic Development Corporation wants the city to stay competitive in our changing times. In today's world they see access to the Internet as vital to boosting economic growth and attracting visitors.

It's a sign of the times. People want access to the Internet 24/7 while they're on-the-go.

"How many times do you go to a restaurant at night and see, everyone sees their iPhone and they're not really communicating. Unfortunately, that's the times but they need those Internet signals," J.J. McGrath said.

"Everybody uses it. I mean it's pretty handy to have. I mean, we've got people in here all the time, students coming in here studying," Michael Vinther said.

Co-owner of "The Loft Pizza & Pub" in downtown Whitewright, Michael Vinther, says offering free WiFi is a great incentive for his customers.
The Whitewright Economic Development Corporation wanted to connect with the future. So, they've become the first city in Grayson County to offer free WiFi to their entire downtown.

"As more devices come online, more people are getting interconnected," McGrath said.

J.J. McGrath installed the wireless devices atop these downtown buildings. Right now I'm standing in the heart of downtown Whitewright and I can easily access that WiFi connection right on my cell phone. But, I can access it another 1,000 feet that way and another 1,000 feet behind me.

The signal also reaches the Whitewright Trades Day location, which will make that experience easier for visiting vendors.

"We bring in a lot of tourism here."

Whitewright Economic Development's Cathy Pierce says by offering free WiFi, they hope more people will come downtown.

"This has grown tremendously and we feel like this is going to be a positive thing for our city," Pierce said.

"I think it says they're forward thinking in trying to build our community. I think it was a great idea," Vinther said.

The Economic Development Corporation is footing the bill for the WiFi services. The project cost about $30,000 to get it up and running and they'll spend a little over $100 each month to maintain it.

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