DIGBY, NS – The downtown Digby area will soon be without public Wi-Fi.
The public wireless Internet network was installed this past July by local Internet and networking company bNetworked.
It was an initiative they created and took on to try to connect the town with local business, but proved difficult to manage after businesses didn’t buy into the new advertising platform.
“We had challenges selling the ad space, because local, smaller businesses maybe didn’t understand the technology that well,” said bNetworked owner Brian Joudrey.
“There was a steep learning curve with this, and it was challenging.”
Digby Town CAO Tom Ossinger is also sad to see the network go.
The town had looked into whether partnering with the Internet provider would work, and decided the private approach – with business advertisements ideally covering bNetworked’s costs for the project – would make the most sense.
The company approached council with a proposal for them to assume control of the network. After an in camera meeting Monday, Nov. 6, the town decided not to accept the proposal.
“Wi-Fi has been on the town’s radar for some time, and will continue to be,” said Ossinger.
“We’ll probably take the winter to look over the other options that are out there.”
A disconnecting date hasn’t been confirmed, but Joudrey predicts it will fall within the next two weeks.
It’s a decision neither he nor his colleagues came to lightly, since this initiative was one they’d looked forward to.
“After banging our heads on the wall and not having a whole lot of success, we tried but couldn’t find a way to keep this going,” he said.