Maui resident Yuki Lei Sugimura wants to bring Wailuku into the 21st century with WiFi Wailuku, a plan to provide free wireless internet access to the Wailuku Town. The program, which has been discussed at various Maui Redevelopment Agency meetings over the last few months, would put Wailuku on the growing list of towns in the U.S. offering wireless Internet as a service to the public. Currently Honolulu’s Chinatown is the only area in the state offering municipal WiFi.
“We’re modeled after Chinatown,” Sugimura told me, referring to the node strategy used to partner the WiFi project with local businesses. Essentially, all community businesses need to do is place a router provided by the WiFi project in their place of operation, and the router will automatically connect to the grid of other routers to maximize wireless coverage.
“Our goal is to bring people to Wailuku Town,” she added.
Currently, WiFi Wailuku is gauging interest and support from the community. There is just one point in the WiFi “grid” so far, and that’s at Kama’aina Properties on the corner of Market and Main Streets, but the aim is to set up a network of 20 participating businesses surrounding Wailuku’s Municipal Lot and Main Street to give the whole area free wireless Internet access.
Sugimura recently applied for a County of Maui Small Town Grant to help fund WiFi Wailuku, and is in need of local businesses and community members willing to participate. Interested business owners and citizens should contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.