Pa. borough to pilot community portal
- By Daniel Keegan
- Sep 04, 2000
Unisys Corp. has chosen West Chester, Pa., for a community Internet portal
pilot project that aims to bring together citizens, businesses and government
on one site.
Unisys, based in nearby Blue Bell, Pa., will spend about $30 million
to set up the World Wide Web portal for West Chester and the surrounding
townships East Bradford, East and West Goshen, Thornbury, Westtown and West
"The idea is that if they go to [any page on the site], they can enter
the borough of West Chester as a whole, accessing the government and business
community," said Laura Pitt, administrative assistant for the borough manager
and the designer of West Chester's current Web site.
Unisys will host the main site and offer to host sites for businesses
and other organizations, charging monthly fees. The company will also establish
a "cybercafe," an office where people can have access to the portal.
Pitt said the portal will be free to everyone for general access, but
for those who want additional services, such as a customized site or advanced
e-commerce transactions, there may be fees. Pitt said Unisys is considering
charging people a monthly $2 to $5 fee, or charging nothing for a year to
try to build excitement about the site.
Mary Ann Zaborowski, vice president and general manager of the program
for Unisys, said the company chose West Chester because they could test
the concept in the company's backyard and then branch out.
"This is the first of many incubator programs, where we're bringing
businesses and government together," Zaborowski said.