South Bend announces expansion of free Wi-Fi throughout the city

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 6:53 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend’s Mayor, James Mueller gathered with other leaders in the city and announced the expansion of the South Bend Open Wi-Fi Network.

“It’s critical that we make sure that all of our residents have that access,” said Mayor Mueller.

Held at Fire Station 7 in South Bend, the press conference allowed leaders to speak and emphasize the importance of accessibility to the internet.

“When we were in the pandemic, we learned that it is especially true that you need connectivity to the internet to get ahead in a 21st century economy,” Mayor Mueller said.

That is what caused South Bend to provide internet access even further, by expanding to 31 new sites with 129 new access points located at parks, business corridors, partnered community-based organizations, and fire stations in neighborhoods throughout the city.

“These anchor institutions are very trusted, they’re safe, and they often are adjacent to neighborhoods like this one, or in corridors that people frequent, are near transpo spots where people might linger, and we’ve been able to take advantage of that,” said Denise Linn Reidl, South Bend’s CIO.

South Bend’s leaders haven’t only helped people to access the internet in public, they have also helped resident get affordable Wi-Fi at home.

“When you’re out and about, having access to the internet is key, but at home it’s also important,” Reidl said.

To do so, they have created partnerships to connect people to discounted or free internet resources, like the Affordable Connectivity Plan.

“Connectivity is the way that we go beyond our city limits, our neighborhoods, throughout the world and so, we’re excited that we have open wi-fi here,” said Pastor Canneth Lee, the city’s First District Councilman.

For more information or to see the list of open Wi-Fi locations, click here.

According to the city, phases one and two of this expansion will go late into this year and into 2023.

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