14 April 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y.—An outdoor, public Wi-Fi network – with more than 30 hotspot access points along Main Street from North Street to Canalside and the Erie Basin Marina – is planned for downtown Buffalo. There will be no charge from the provider to access the network.
M&T Bank is leading the effort to engineer, purchase and install the system in partnership with Mayor Byron Brown, the City of Buffalo and the University at Buffalo. A franchise agreement for the municipal network is scheduled to be reviewed during a Buffalo Common Council meeting on April 14, 2015.
“If downtown Buffalo is going to be a thriving engine of opportunity for all city residents, we must find ways to support the entrepreneurs who are driving technological advances and creating jobs,” said Mayor Byron Brown. “With this outdoor, public Wi-Fi network, we are making another targeted investment to improve our city’s wireless infrastructure, moving us forward on the path to constant connectivity. I thank M&T bank for leading the effort to engineer, purchase and install the system in partnership with the City of Buffalo and the University at Buffalo as we work together to further strengthen our economy for decades to come.”
“From the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to the Theatre District to Canalside to HarborCenter, outdoor Wi-Fi along Main Street will soon be available to more than 58,000 people who work downtown, along with the million-plus visitors we see each year, and will help people connect and enjoy Buffalo,” said M&T Chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers.
M&T Bank, headquartered downtown since 1856, has approximately 3,300 employees working in downtown Buffalo, including 2,500 on the Main Street corridor.
The University at Buffalo, which also has a major presence on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus adjacent to Main Street in Buffalo, is providing fiber assets and expertise in network engineering design and management for the network.
“As a natural extension of our university’s service mission, UB has been a leader in developing our regional fiber network which, in turn, helps to advance the mission of our area colleges and public institutions that reside in the City of Buffalo,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi. “We, as a university community, are excited to partner in the expansion of these Wi-Fi capabilities to enhance the experience of those who are working downtown, visiting our great city and enjoying the many cultural amenities present in our downtown corridor.”
The first access point is already installed and being tested for performance. Once all the approvals are in place, the rest of the network will be installed and ready for public use this summer. Individual hotspots, with a range of approximately 250 feet, will be spaced to create near continuous coverage, allowing users to leverage the system to connect to the Internet on mobile devices to surf the web, check email and use social media.
“This is another example of M&T Bank committing resources, funding and leadership to benefit our community,” said Buffalo Place Executive Director Michael Schmand. “And it is a great example of public-private partnership, with M&T, the City of Buffalo and UB coming together for the greater good.”
Buffalo Place is the downtown business improvement district within which much of the Wi-Fi network will reside.
About M&T Bank
Founded in 1856, M&T Bank Corp. (www.mtb.com) is one of the 20 largest U.S. commercial bank holding companies, with more than $96 billion of assets and more than 650 branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Member FDIC.
About the University at Buffalo
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's nearly 30,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.
Mike Zabel, M&T Bank
Lorey Schultz, City of Buffalo
John DellaContrada, University at Buffalo