CARBONDALE, Ill. — City leaders in Carbondale say free wireless internet is coming to the southern Illinois city’s downtown.

Frontier Communications has a $20,000, five-year service agreement to provide the Wi-Fi access starting later this year.

City manager Gary Williams says the new system taps into the city’s fiber-optic network purchased in 2014 with a $1.5 million grant. Williams says offering free internet gives “people one more reason to visit our downtown and spend time here.”

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan ( ) reports that this isn’t the first time Carbondale has offered free internet downtown. The city had a downtown wireless network in 2007 but users weren’t happy with slow speeds and the city eventually abandoned it.

Williams say this new network should have enough bandwidth to accommodate more than 1,000 people simultaneously.

Information from: Southern Illinoisan,

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