GREENFIELD — Free Internet access could be available at the county courthouse by the end of the month.
Hancock County’s technology department is installing Wi-Fi in the historic building as part of a growing trend of downtown government buildings having more online accessibility to the public.
Bernie Harris, Hancock County information technology director, said prosecutors and attorneys had been requesting wireless access in the courthouse. Installing the technology, he said, will help them be able to answer emails and do research while they are in the courthouse.
“We have attorneys that come in that need access to their information,” Harris said. “That way, if they’re in court they can connect back to their offices and get information if they so choose. And our prosecutors can connect back to the system.”
He said it will cost about $3,000 to install the infrastructure.
“I’m hoping we’ll be up and have it running by the end of the month,” he said.
The Hancock County Courthouse Annex, in which most county government meetings are held, has been transitioning to free wireless access for several months. Harris said wireless access had been tested throughout the summer and it was installed completely by the beginning of September.
“Commissioners use it all the time, (and) I think the council started using it, too,” he said.
The public can also access the Internet during business hours.
There are no plans to install Wi-Fi at the prosecutor’s office.
Wireless Internet for the public has been available at Greenfield City Hall for a few years now, Mayor Dick Pasco said.
He said it makes public access to government a little easier, especially now that city hall is using more technology. The Greenfield Board of Works, for example, has iPads, and documents are placed on the city’s website. People attending a meeting can pull documents from the city’s website and follow along.