Campsite internet a costly proposal

PORT HENRY - Gone are the days of campers roughing it in the wilderness.

Visitors to Bulwagga Bay campsite in Port Henry want wireless internet service.

"Camping isn't what is used to be," quipped Moriah trustee Tom Anderson.

The campsite on Lake Champlain is owned and operated by the town of Moriah.

Trying to satisfy the demands of campers, particularly seasonal visitors, the town board has investigated providing wireless internet service at the facility.

Trustee Rick Carpenter said he had contacted internet provider Wells Communications about Bulwagga Bay. The price tag, he learned, is $19,000.

"We're not in a situation where we can proceed," he said. "The town can't afford that and we can't pass that cost along to campers. It's just too much."

Carpenter had another concern. Wells proposed placing an internet signal at the town hall and using "repeaters" to get that signal to the campsite a half mile away.

"I'm not sure how reliable that signal would be," he said.

Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said he has spoken to Crown Point Network Technologies about providing internet service to the campground. It was suggested the town stay out of the internet business and, instead, seek proposals from private companies that may have an interest.

"We could seek RFPs (requests for proposal) and let a private company provide the service," Scozzafava said. "In exchange we could get a percentage of their income."

The arrangement would be similar to the town's cable television agreement.

"Let them (the provider) send the bills, let them collect the money," the supervisor said. "We should stay out of it."

The board took no action on the issue.

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