Lawrence Freenet is not asking for a handout. In exchange for a loan guarantee the
organization is willing to provide the City of
Included in the municipal amenities are:
The core service being proposed by Lawrence Freenet is Freenet-KIDS. This service would be delivered on a separate SSID from Freenet's current low income and member services. The SSID "Freenet-KIDS" would be broadcast city wide and would allow any child to access the Internet using any WiFi enabled device.
As has been discussed above, the network would be developed with child friendly filtering technology and would provide true broadband speeds of 1,024 Kbps under nominal network load.
Children within the community would be able to make use of the network for educational activities such as research, educational games, document composition, and much, much more.
By providing universal Internet access to every child in
The Lawrence Freenet project has already caused other
communities across the state to take notice.
By providing children throughout the City of
The proposed service includes:
It should be noted that it does not include in-home support for each and every student. To receive help getting their computers online parents or students will need to bring their device into the daily in-school support session.
are several ways that the current Lawrence Freenet proposal can save the City
As part of the proposed solution, Lawrence Freenet plans
to provide the City of
Since the City of
The installation of this asset represents a significant
financial incentive for the City of
Information Technology, for example, can cut expenses by eliminating T-1 service to a number of city facilities.
As for Public Works, the City of
Freenet's vendor CWC currently has proposals in-house from reputable fiber-optic cable installation organizations that place the value of this part of the proposal at $1,963,501.
Over the past several years, Lawrence Freenet has discussed the data needs of the Police Department on several occasions. With the addition of a fiber-optic backbone, Lawrence Freenet can now provide the level of service that the Police department has indicated it requires in order to use the network.
As part of this proposal, Freenet would provide data transport services to the City of Lawrence Police Department at no cost. This would enable the police department to access broadband online resources like finger print databases, facial recognition databases, file servers and communications infrastructure from patrol cars located anywhere inside the city limits.
Police Officers could also access the network from palm
pilots, laptop computers or any other WiFi enabled device. This opens the doors to many exciting
applications that can speed up law enforcement, reduce overhead expenditures
and improve public safety for all citizens of
The company cannot provide free equipment or support to the City of Lawrence Police Department though Lawrence Freenet will provide access to the city wide WiFi network as part of the Freenet-Kids initiative. If the department needs expertise in the installation and maintenance of its wireless equipment or needs help with internal routing, external routing, encryption, mobile VPN solutions or other items of this nature, they would need to be contracted with an outside party.
Freenet currently charges paying members $20/Mo for each
connection. Freenet currently
estimates that the police department will eventually use 100 devices to
connect to the network, from laptops, to patrol cars, to security systems to PDAs. This places
the monthly value of this gift at $2,000. Over a 10 year term this provides $240,000 in benefits to the City of
All city staff from the planning department, the utilities department, and public works would have access to the WiFi network to help complete their daily jobs.
Potential applications include:
inspections & permits for residents
remote access to GIS information
* Off site
access to e-mail & file servers
Once access to city network resources becomes available
universally, staff will likely think up a number of other ways to better
Once again, Lawrence Freenet will provide data transport,
but the installation, configuration, support and
maintenance of the equipment necessary to access the network will be the sole
responsibility of the City of
Freenet currently estimates that the City of
The Lawrence Public Library is one of the most important resources in the community. It serves as a focal point for community events, provides critical information to students and has one of the most impressive Information Technology initiatives in the City.
Though this is a great asset to the community as a whole, limited Internet access within the community can make it hard to use these valuable resources from remote locations.
As part of the Freenet-Kids proposal and part of its
commitment to education in
To do this, the Freenet team would simply add the Library's website to the list of resources that are available without a Freenet account. Right now these include Google Maps, The Lawrencian and Lawrence Freenet's own website.
By adding the public library and its IT resources to this site, Freenet would effectively make access to library resources universal. Citizens from across the community would be able to access the Library's website using any WiFi enabled device.
Lawrence Freenet would currently charge paying websites of the Public Library's size $1,000 to make their resources available to the community without a payment. This means that over a 120 month time frame this amenity is worth $120,000.
With more and more people using the Internet as their exclusive source for voice, video and data, providing information to residents of the City in the event of an emergency has become increasingly difficult.
Traditional emergency broadcast systems use television and radio to alert the community in the event of severe weather, chemical spills or other critical emergencies. Since many members of the community don't tune into these resources, there is a significant danger that they may miss an important warning.
The High Availability Municipal Mesh Emergency Response (HAMMER) System is This system was designed to make emergency information available to network users independent of radio or television broadcasts.
The system acts to interrupt every web session on the network and re-direct traffic at an emergency information page. What does this mean?
If there are 11,000 members using the network to access the Internet and the HAMMER System is activated, all 11,000 members will be automatically re-directed to a single web page the next time they refresh their web browser. The web page might contain information on a severe weather event, national crisis or other dangerous event on the University campus.
As part of the Freenet-Kids project, the organization would coordinate the use of the HAMMER system with city emergency services allowing them to implement the system in the event of an emergency.
As part of the Freenet-Kids initiative Lawrence Freenet
will also provide a direct fiber-optic connection between the KanREN facility located at 1405
Leased lines of this type would typically cost approximately $1,500 for each demarcation point. Bringing the total value contributed to KanREN to $3,000/Mo or $360,000 over 120 Months.
The total financial benefit to the City of
Other hard to quantify benefits include:
Job Creation - The Lawrence Freenet Project would hire 17 additional full time staff to support the project. All of these staff members are paid well above the living wage and receive full medical and dental benefits.
Budgetary Offsets -
By providing fiber-optic connectivity to traffic control signal, water
department infrastructure and other hard assets, the Freenet-Kids initiative
will enable the City of
Increased Tax Base - Since Kansas Law does not have a category for "non-profit Internet Service Provider" Lawrence Freenet pays sales tax on all equipment sales.
Public School Equipment - As part of its proposal, Lawrence Freenet will provide 375 ($75,000) in free laptops to children within the community each year for 10 years.
The figure below shows a graphical representation of the proposed economic development arrangement.
Financial Benefits of