Free Wi-Fi coming to downtown Fairborn: 5 things to know

City of Fairborn officials have agreed to a deal with Cincinnati Bell to bring free Wi-Fi to downtown in coming months.

MORE: Fairborn hopes free downtown Wi-Fi means ‘competitive edge’

Here’s a look at the details of this new project impacting Fairborn and its businesses, residents and visitors.

Why is Fairborn seeking free Wi-Fi?

City officials said the addition of wireless internet downtown will help the business district’s revitalization and give Fairborn “a strategic competitive edge over other communities who are trying to draw visitors” and tourism to their downtown, Assistant City Manager Pete Bales said in a memo to city council.

Where will the free Wi-Fi be available?

The public Wi-Fi will run along Main Street from Dayton Drive to Broad Street with the ability to expand. Cincinnati Bell will design, construct and maintain the system, which “will provide the most robust technology available and feature a fiber optic backbone along Main Street,” Bales said.

When will the Wi-Fi be available?

Cincinnati Bell will immediately begin designing the fiber build. Instillation is slated to begin in the spring, with public Wi-Fi expected to launch by August.

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How much will the system cost?

The fiber installation will cost the city $388,000, paid to Cincinnati Bell in two equal installments this year and next. The city will also pay a reoccurring monthly fee of $1,410 for 200 megabits per second high-speed internet, data analytics, access points and system maintenance. The costs and fees have been approved in the city’s 2018 budget.

At no cost, Cincinnati Bell will provide 1 gigabits per second internet, Wi-Fi, telephone and television service for the 300 block of Main Street, which city officials have dubbed the Spark Block. In exchange, the city will give Cincinnati Bell naming rights for the Spark Kitchen conference room and sponsorship recognition, including plaques on all televisions in the Spark Kitchen and Spark Block Wi-Fi log-in signage.

What do residents think?

Residents said they’re looking forward to the new Wi-Fi and hope it is an attractive feature for prospective businesses.

“I would love to see more businesses down here,” said resident Beth Player. “A lot of people, that’s how they operate and if we expect to keep up with the times, we have got to do that.”

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