January 8, 2008 By News Report
"Providing consistent signal strength across this 15.6-mile stretch of Puget Sound has proven to be a real technological challenge, but with a significant investment in equipment that has created ten new shoreline access points, we are now providing a robust signal from dock to dock on the Bremerton runs," said Bob Davis, Parsons vice president. "We're also pleased to note that the Seattle/Bainbridge route received Wi-Fi transmission upgrades during the latest phase of service improvement."
Parsons is offering one week of free Wi-Fi service to commuters who sign up to take a short survey on Wi-Fi use and preferences. Interested ferry riders can sign up at www.wsf-wifi.com.
Washington State Ferries' Wi-Fi has become the largest commercial, over-the-water Wi-Fi system in the world. Routes include Edmonds/Kingston, Mukilteo/Clinton, the newly improved Seattle/Bainbridge route, plus the new Seattle/Bremerton route. Parsons plans to add the Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth run before the end of January with signal feeds from the route's three terminals plus five shoreline feed points.
Parsons is one of the largest 100% employee-owned management, engineering, and construction companies in the United States and operates Wi-Fi installations in 30 airports across the United States and Canada. Parsons also manages the world's largest railroad Wi-Fi system, providing service on VIA Rail Canada for more than 460 trains per week across a 14,000-kilometer network.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.