ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Downtown St. Petersburg's Williams Park might offer free - but limited - WiFi access as early as next Monday.
FOX 13 News has learned a deal is being finalized between the city and Brighthouse Networks, which already provides a similar service along downtown Tampa's Riverwalk.
A separate negotiation is underway to offer the WiFi service in St. Petersburg's downtown waterfront parks.
However, that possibility is not as immediate, nor as certain, as the Williams Park hot spot.
Downtown's one-time Central Park is considered under-utilized after serving as a public bus hub for decades. The city wants to reactivate Williams Park, and the students at a St. Petersburg College campus right across the street are potential park patrons.
"Yes I would use [WiFi] over there," Jackie Howard confirmed. "That would give me quiet time to myself and I can probably get a lot more done."
In Tampa, Brighthouse customers have unlimited access to the Brighthouse service. Non-Brighthouse customers can be online for a couple of hours a day and use up to one gigabyte of data per month.
After that, "you can pay a nominal fee to continue the session," Tampa Chief Technical Officer Russell Haupert explained, adding "...for the average person on the Riverwalk to sit down and download a new book to their iPad or perhaps to check their mail quickly, that's all the access that they need."
Sources say the St. Petersburg public access structure would be similar: Unlimited access for Brighthouse data customers, limited for non-customers, with additional data available.