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Free Public WiFi is now available in Downtown Ravenna! 

       

Press Release - September 18, 2017 ...

Neighborhood Development Services (NDS) launches Ravenna Connect, Free Downtown WiFi


NDS is excited to collaborate with the City of Ravenna and the Ravenna Area Chamber of Commerce to bring free public Wi-Fi to downtown Ravenna. The signal went live Thursday evening when officials met to “flip the switch” on the service. Residents walking downtown on Main St. can now use their devices to access the Web with “Ravenna Connect.”

“This is an incredible new service for downtown Ravenna,” Mayor Frank Seman said. “No one in the county, and only a few cities in the state, can say they provide free public Wi-Fi to their residents.”

NDS received a $30,000 Place-Based Strategies grant from Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, an affiliate of Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, for the project last year. The grant covers the cost of equipment, installation, and the first two years of service. NDS credits Fran Ricciardi with the inspiration for public Wi-Fi in Ravenna.

NDS Incoming Executive Director Stacy Brown said, “I’d like to thank OCIC for awarding the grant. We have a long partnership with OCCH and we are grateful for their support of all our projects.” She added, “I would also like to thank the Ravenna Area Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Frank Seman, Bobby Wain, City Council IT Committee chair Amy Michael, and committee members Rob Kairis, and Bruce Ribelin for their support.”

“We are incredibly lucky to have a congressman who understands the importance of pushing technology forward to make Ohio more competitive.” Brown said. “Public Wi-Fi in Ravenna signals to investors that Ravenna is looking ahead.”

“I was would like to applaud Neighborhood Development Services for launching free wifi in downtown Ravenna. High speed internet access is critical for any city in the 21st century and today’s announcement is an exciting step forward. Our community and our economy will benefit greatly from this service and I can’t wait to hear what’s next for the City of Ravenna. I am proud to support these efforts and will continue to push for innovative economic and community development efforts that advance our cities,” – said Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13).

Ravenna Connect is running on Cisco’s Meraki software system. Spectrum is the service provider. The system will allow for easy expansion to other locations, and has the potential to provide small local businesses with Wi-Fi.

“This is just the beginning,” said Ryan Kuchenbecker, Director of the Ravenna Area Chamber of Commerce. “The chamber hopes to incorporate Wi-Fi services into our membership package in the future.”

“We are making downtown a destination,” said Brown. “With Ravenna 7 Movies under construction, Honorary Way installed, and Ravenna Connect live, people are going to take notice.”

About Neighborhood Development Services Neighborhood Development Services
(NDS) serves Portage County and other northeastern communities in Ohio. The mission of NDS, a NeighborWorks® organization, is to revitalize neighborhoods and communities, primarily for the benefit of low and moderate income-income households, through the provision and /or promotion of affordable housing, environmental sustainability, community and economic development, job-creation, and multi-discipline art as a community development catalyst.For more information, visit www.ndsohio.org