Downtown Reading installs first free Wi-Fi hot spot

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The first Wi-Fi hot spot has been installed in downtown Reading and is designed to handle hundreds of multiple users, allowing residents, employees and visitors in the area to use it for free.
The first Wi-Fi hot spot has been installed in downtown Reading and is designed to handle hundreds of multiple users, allowing residents, employees and visitors in the area to use it for free. - (Photo By Jennifer Glose)

ReDesign Reading, in partnership with MAW Communications Inc., installed the city’s first free Wi-Fi hot spot in the downtown.

At Sixth and Penn streets, the Wi-Fi hot spot is designed to handle hundreds of multiple users at one time.

“A 21st century city requires modern broadband infrastructure to attract and retain the next generation of innovative and tech-savvy entrepreneurs,” Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer said. “Reading is a city on the move, and we applaud the efforts of the private and nonprofit sectors who have joined forces to add value to our downtown revitalization efforts.”

Reading was awarded the Keystone Community/Main Street designation in August 2013 to support its downtown revitalization efforts. Sponsored through the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development, the Keystone Communities program assists communities in achieving revitalization.

“Across the country, we are seeing how communities that invest in local broadband infrastructure reap the economic benefits,” said Brian Kelly, executive director of ReDesign Reading, a community development corporation that facilitates initiatives to promote community wealth building, resiliency and sustainability in Reading’s economy.

“We believe that Reading is on the rise, and are pleased to add value to Reading’s Main Street revitalization initiative.”

Headquartered in downtown Reading, MAW Communications installed the hot spot by using the Internet services from the Keystone Initiative for Network-Based Education and Research, a nonprofit coalition of Pennsylvania’s education, research, health care, economic development and other nonprofit-based communities.

MAW is providing systems integration services, servers, network security, fiber transport services and secure Internet connectivity at no cost.

“At MAW, we … are proud to sponsor this hot spot as the first step in our comprehensive municipal broadband initiative,” said Frank Wiczkowski, president of MAW Communications.

Jennifer Glose

Jennifer Glose

Reporter Jennifer Glose covers health care, Berks County and other topics. She can be reached at jenniferg@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 111. Follow her on Twitter @jenniferg_LVB and read her blog, “Networking,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/networking-blog.

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