Several Cleveland Heights business districts go live with WiFi

This map shows the neighborhoods that now have free WiFi access.
Heights area residents, visitors and business people can now benefit from a free wireless network covering five square miles of University Circle and parts of Cleveland Heights, thanks to OneCommunity and Case Western Reserve University.

The project, called Linked Communities, uses more than 100 access points to extend free WiFi access from the Case campus network into its neighboring communities, including the main business districts of Coventry, Cedar Fairmount, Little Italy and parts of Mayfield Road.

The source of the high-speed access is OneCommunity's existing fiber-optic cable network, which connects more than 800 sites at public and nonprofit institutions throughout the region.

OneCommunity President and CEO Scot Rourke, a Cleveland Heights resident, said, “OneCommunity’s Linked Communities and the accompanying free WiFi access enable current Internet users to have greater online access. The network will also have a significant impact in bridging the digital divide and delivering access to these communities."

"Life in the 21st century is moving online, and public wireless access allows more people to take advantage of the wealth of resources available on the Internet, especially those who might not otherwise be able to afford it," added Mark Ansboury, senior vice president and chief technology officer at OneCommunity. "This network is poised to serve as a valuable community asset, with the potential to attract more businesses, facilitate public safety applications, enhance public education, and enable remote health care."

OneCommunity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering economic development and improving quality of life by leveraging information technologies.

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Mary Patton is a public relations consultant and a longtime resident of the Heights. She currently lives in University Heights with her husband and daughter.

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Volume 1, Issue 7, Posted 1:04 PM, 09.15.2008