Small Business Sponsorship Model Provides Free Public WiFi Across District
(St. Petersburg, FL, June 19, 2019) On Thursday, June 20 at 4:30 pm, WiFi marketing and analytics company GoZone WiFi (GoZone) in partnership with the EDGE Business District Association will host a special wire cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of their free-to-the-public WiFi network throughout the EDGE District in St. Petersburg, FL. The ceremony, held in conjunction with World Wi-Fi Day, will feature remarks by GoZone’s CEO and District and City leaders, including Mayor Rick Kriseman. The gathering will take place at Green Bench Brewing Company (1133 Baum Ave.), and additional parking will be available across the street at 1211 1st. Ave N.
Through the implementation of a business-sponsored model, GoZone, along with hardware provider Cambium Networks and the EDGE Business District Association, created a publicly available WiFi network covering the EDGE District from Martin Luther King Jr. St. to 16th St. and along Central, Baum, and 1st Avenue N.
The project was both a business and passion project for GoZone’s CEO Todd Myers, who has studied the topic of digital divide extensively and knows how it negatively impacts not only individuals, but entire communities. Myers has dedicated his career to closing the digital divide through innovative WiFi service models like the one launched within the EDGE District. “We are committed to working toward pervasive, accessible WiFi access for everyone; regardless of your income or economic status,” said Myers.
Myers worked closely with Barbara Voglewede, Executive Director of the EDGE Business District Association to bring his vision of a connected community to life. The EDGE District WiFi initiative had three main goals:
- bridge the digital divide in St. Petersburg
- connect residents and visitors to local businesses and corporate sponsors
- drive economic vitality within the EDGE District
All without using taxpayer dollars.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman sees the value that this project brings to the community. “On June 20th, we will celebrate World Wi-Fi Day, and I can’t think of a better way than to begin to bridge the digital divide in the Sunshine City. Bringing free WiFi to the heart of our city is a creative, innovative way to help everyone connect in new and exciting ways,” said Mayor Kriseman. “I want to thank GoZone WiFi – headquartered in the EDGE District – and Cambium Networks for seeing the potential in this booming business district, and in all of St. Petersburg, and for making this possible.”
Local residents and visitors get free access to WiFi, while corporate network sponsors like UPC Insurance and Goldman Wetzel Law Firm receive digital advertising opportunities provided by GoZone’s Ads4WiFi platform. (Ads are displayed on the WiFi login page, landing page, and in subsequent emails.) The EDGE Business District Association, an accredited Main Street America™ and Florida Main Street, uses the network to drive economic growth in its historic downtown corridor by promoting the district’s many amenities, eclectic businesses, and district-wide events.
“The value of offering free WiFi to our district visitors is tremendous,” said Voglewede. “It enhances their experience here, increasing their dwell time and even providing an easily accessible, more eco-friendly platform to learn about our unique district features and heritage. We’re thrilled to be partnering with GoZone on this cutting edge project.”
Using GoZone’s systems, Voglewede can view traffic data in order to spot trends and analyze growth fluctuations and patterns. In addition, as guests log in to the public WiFi network, the district can promote upcoming committee meetings, events, and even collect data through surveys.
GoZone collaborated with Cambium Networks to bring the network to the field using their reliable infrastructure. “Cambium has stepped up to the plate to make this project a success with their easy-to-manage hardware,” Myers said of the deployment.
World Wi-Fi Day takes place on June 20th each year and is a global initiative promoted by the Wireless Broadband Alliance to help bridge the digital divide.
About GoZone WiFi GoZone WiFi helps businesses build better customer relationships through WiFi marketing, analytics and advertising. GoZone’s Smart WiFi products enable WiFi monetization through rich location data, marketing engagements, and third-party sponsorships. With access to detailed presence analytics, brick-and-mortar venues can strategically refine operations, bridging the gap between online and offline business. These analytics power omni-channel marketing messages and brand engagements, well beyond the WiFi network.
About the EDGE DistrictThe downtown historic EDGE District is an award-winning Main Street America™ and Florida Main Street operated by the EDGE Business District Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that plans, promotes, and advocates to sustain an eclectic, vibrant EDGE District community while preserving its unique character.
About Cambium NetworksCambium Networks provides wireless broadband networking infrastructure solutions for network operators, including medium-sized wireless internet service providers, enterprises and government agencies. Cambium’s scalable, reliable and high-performance solutions create a purpose-built wireless fabric which connects people, places and things across distances ranging from two meters to more than 100 kilometers, indoors and outdoors, using licensed and unlicensed spectrum, at attractive economics. Headquartered outside Chicago and with R&D centers in the U.S., U.K. and India, Cambium Networks sells through a range of trusted global distributors.
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