Mayor Ras J. Baraka said Newark’s super-fast fiber network empowers residents and businesses citywide. Invest Newark President and CEO Bernel Hall called the project inspired, not just wired. Ironbound Business Improvement District (IBID) Executive Director Seth A. Grossman noted the collaborative effort underscored that people are welcome in Newark and the Ironbound. Deputy Mayor for Economic and Housing Development Allison Ladd looked forward to similar programs in every ward.
Ladd, Hall, and Grossman were joined by City of Newark Chief Information and Technology Officer E. Steven Emanuel, TeknoGRID President Marland Jenkins and other city and local representatives to unveil the completed Newark Fiber/Ironbound Business Improvement District Wi-Fi Pilot Project at an event on Ferry Street.
This new Wi-Fi network will offer free hotspots all along Ferry Street from Union Street to Merchant Street, enabling business, residents, and visitors within the Ironbound to connect with them seamlessly. The service is completely free of charge with no hidden fee.
Funding came through public and private dollars in collaboration with the City of Newark and the IBID. Design, build, and maintenance of the system cost approximately $65,000. It is expected to support business owners by enabling them to promote and attract patronage and keep residents and visitors connected.
“Newark’s fiber and internet capacity is outstanding,” Grossman added. “Providing free public Wi-Fi to our community, our customers and visitors through our partnership with the City, Invest Newark, Newark Fiber and TeknoGRID is an important amenity that’s good for the Ironbound District and for Newark.”
“Invest Newark is thrilled by the continued growth of Newark Fiber, our city’s lower cost, higher speed alternative Internet service provider that is connecting neighborhoods across New Jersey’s largest municipality and closing the digital divide by providing residents and business owners with improved access to opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive here in the great city of Newark,” said Invest Newark President & CEO Bernel Hall. ”
“TeknoGRID thanks the City of Newark and the Ironbound District for the privilege of supporting the Design, Build and Maintenance of its Gigabit Public Wi-Fi Network,” concluded TeknoGRID’s Marland Jenkins. “As a native of the City of Newark and a small minority business owner, Broadband/Wi-Fi is an essential public utility. It keeps residents connected and on a larger scale, streamlines community engagement and participation. Bottom line, it enhances quality of life and bolsters economic development throughout the city.”