By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd, Police Chief Terry Gallagher and city staff members will be on hand starting at 10 a.m. at The Gateway pavilion, 125 E. Front St., for the launch of the citywide, $3.7 million Metro-Net wireless project, which will allow anyone within the city to have access to mobile Internet.
Metro-Net, powered by North Olympic Peninsula Internet service provider OlyPen, which is based in Sequim, also will allow police and other emergency first-responders to have real-time access to information useful during crime or emergency responses.
For example, paramedics will be able to share pictures or video of an individual needing emergency care with doctors and nurses at the hospital and receive direction on how best to treat their patient in return.
The Wi-Fi service will be free to use through October.
After that, except for one hour per day and 12 days per year for each Wi-Fi user, OlyPen will charge subscription fees of up to $34.95 per month for mobile users and $37.95 per month for fixed-point use.
OlyPen will share a portion of the subscription charges with the city to help pay for ongoing service and maintenance of the Wi-Fi infrastructure for first-responders, OlyPen general manager Charles Beaudette has said.
Metro-Net is expected to be extended to the Lower Elwha Klallam reservation by its completion date in mid-2013 and also may be expanded to include the city's eastern and western urban growth areas.
When completed, it will be one of the only — if not the only — citywide Wi-Fi system anywhere in the U.S. to share infrastructure with a separate, public first-responder network.
The Metro-Net infrastructure was funded through $2.6 million of federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and $1.4 million from the City of Port Angeles.
For more information on the Metro-Net service, visit OlyPen's website at http://bit.ly/RlppON.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb contributed to this report.