Jul 24, 2015 5:54 PM
HAMPTON BEACH - For the first time in history, wireless internet service is now widely available at one of the state's most sandy and popular spots for tourism.
Despite its widespread popularity, finding a reliable cell phone signal at Hampton Beach can be quite difficult. Finding a solid internet connection was even more challenging - that was, until early July.
It's thanks to a private project backed by Eli Morse of Morse Technologies/Sigma WiFi in Salem.
Morse got the idea after vacationing at the beach recently, when he realized he was having a difficult time streaming music on his cell phone while sitting in the sand.
"Way too many [WiFi signals], and way too small," Morse said. "So you could pick up signals as you were walking up and down the beach, but they would fade out as you pass that space.”
Morse told NH1 News his company has invested about $50,000 into the wireless, high-speed internet project - which was up and running as the "Sigma WiFi" network as of July 6.
Those who want to use the service, however, will only have to spend a few dollars a day - or about $19 per month.
“Our commitment to the beachgoers is to provide great WiFi on the beach," Morse said. "So we will be monitoring closely the coverage areas and filling in the gaps.”
Multiple access points are centered around a control panel inside the Casino Ballroom building.
The signal, Morse said, currently extends from A through N streets. It covers the areas along Ocean Boulevard, and down to the waterline.
Antennas have been setup on top of the Casino building, as well at multiple restaurants and motels. The businesses are receiving advertising on the connection homepage in exchange for placement.
“I think it’s a great idea," said beach visitor Richard George. "I didn’t bring my laptop this time, but I’ll bring it next time.”
The system is designed to take on between 5,000-10,000 users at a time; the strength will depend on what activity all is being performed on the network, Morse said.
If most users are streaming videos and music, then the signal could be impacted - but it will take many users for things to slow down.
Morse said the Sigma WiFi launch has been extremely successful so far, and that he hopes to grow the service even more next year.
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