Free Wi-Fi is now available in downtown Holly.
Simply select “HollyPublicWiFi” under your network options on your device and browse away. No password is required.
Katy Golden, Downtown Development Authority (DDA) director for Mainstreet Holly and assistant Holly Village manager, said the connection is strong and fast.
Downtown Holly had free Wi-Fi starting in 2005 when Air Advantage, a wireless technology company headquartered in Frankenmuth, installed a system through Oakland County’s Wireless Oakland rural initiative. The system worked in the beginning, but it hadn’t been functional for a while when the old technology got slower.
“Some birds had been using it as their clubhouse,” Golden said.
They reached out to Oakland County to inquire about upgrading the system, but the initiative was defunct. Golden called Air Advantage who said they would upgrade the system at no cost to the village.
On Monday, Aug. 5, the company removed the old wireless access point, which is what Golden refers to as the “keg,” and replaced it with a smaller upgraded panel.
The new mesh network will cover the entire historic downtown shopping area. Many people can connect to it at one time, which wasn’t possible with the old system.
However, it shouldn’t be used for streaming music or video because it takes up a lot of bandwidth. It’s an unsecure network, so businesses shouldn’t use it for point-of-sale transactions.
“But for people who want to sit at a coffee shop and use the wireless internet, then we have that available. It’s a really good service for visitors. It’s a good thing that’s come back,” she said.
The village needed to upgrade the connection for the new sound system they’re working on.
Air Advantage will pay for the monthly connection fee, and the Wi-Fi installation cost less than $1,000, which was paid for with a grant from Main Street Oakland County.
“It costs the Holly taxpayers zero dollars to have Wi-Fi 24/7,” Golden said.
Tri-County Wireless provides free Wi-Fi for downtown Fenton. The network is called “tcw.co” and no password is required.