Monday, May 24, 2004

For my first trick, can I have a volunteer from the audience? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? OK then, I'll just make my first blog posting into my latest press release. Or vice versa. Anyway, here it is... It's fairly self-explanatory... If it wasn't, it wouldn't be a very good press release now would it? LOL! I'll add links and photos and whatnot just as soon as I figure out how to work this crazy blogging contraption...

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2004

eCoast Wi-Fi Project Relaunches Wireless Internet Access in Portsmouth’s Market Square, Expands Connectivity to Prescott Park

PORTSMOUTH, NH — Back by popular demand, the eCoast Wi-Fi Project (formerly the Portsmouth Wi-Fi Project) is proud to announce the return of free wireless Internet service to downtown Portsmouth. In addition to reopening the Market Square kiosk hotspot (which was offline for the winter), the project is expanding this summer to offer free wi-fi access on the lush greenswards of Prescott Park and the slips of the municipal marina. To kick off the new access point, project sponsors will host a wire-cutting ceremony in the park at 1 p.m., May 26. The public and local civic leaders are invited.

Originally launched on June 23, 2003, the Market Square hotspot is housed in the information kiosk maintained by the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce; it is believed to be the first public-access chamber-sponsored hotspot in the country. In its inaugural year, the pilot project attracted more than 600 tech-savvy locals, businesspeople, students, visitors—and even presidential candidate Joe Lieberman.

Also new for this year, wi-fi users will now be greeted with a “welcome window” when they pick up the hotspot signal. This window appears in the user’s web browser to display local weather forecasts and acknowledge the project’s sponsoring firms. To log-on, wi-fi users will take a short survey on their basic demographic information and wi-fi usage; the user will then get a password with which to log onto the network.

Like the kiosk hotspot, the Prescott Park access point uses IEEE 802.11b technology and has an effective range of about 300-500 feet. BayRing Communications, a Portsmouth-based CLEC, will provide broadband connectivity for each hotspot. Single Digits of Exeter will provide the wireless equipment and hotspot management software. Erik Crago of Port City Web will provide web site, survey, and database hosting and Scott Campbell of D. Scott Campbell and Associates will provide marketing and public relations support. The Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce continues to house the downtown hotspot in its information kiosk, and provides logistical and publicity support. All equipment and services are donated, allowing this to continue as a free service to the community.

Nationally, hotspots continue to proliferate, with analysts reporting that one in every six Americans who use the Internet now go on-line using a wireless connection. Gartner Group expects the number of hotspot users worldwide will triple this year to 30 million; by the end of the year, the research firm says 50 percent of all notebooks owned by professionals will have wi-fi capability, whether built-in or from aftermarket cards.

Information on the eCoast Wi-Fi Project will be available at the kiosk and wi-fi news and information will be also available at Project participants encourage questions, comments, and kudos to be e-mailed to

About the eCoast Wi-Fi Project

The eCoast Wi-Fi Project is a non-profit consortium comprising local technology firms—Port City Web, BayRing Communications, Single Digits, and D. Scott Campbell & Associates Public Relations—in partnership with Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, the eCoast Technology Roundtable, the Prescott Park Arts Festival, and the City of Portsmouth. The eCoast Wi-Fi Project is intended to promote the awareness and use of wireless Internet (“wi-fi”) technologies in particular and the technological innovation of the eCoast in general.


D. Scott Campbell, Marketing & PR Consultant


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