Free, public Wi-Fi comes to downtown Iowa City - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Free, public Wi-Fi comes to downtown Iowa City

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - People spending time in downtown Iowa City may notice something new on their phones -- free, public, wireless Internet.

The first phase of the project -- getting Internet access to the Pedestrian Mall -- is in the works.

Officials pushing for Wi-Fi coverage say making free, public Internet available is one way for city and property owners to strengthen broadband capabilities.

"An active and engaged workforce isn't sitting at their desks anymore," said Executive Director for the Iowa City Downtown District Nancy Bird.

Bird added that the free Wi-Fi project has been in the works since last summer, and it is crucial to the growth of the downtown.

Officials say a public-private partnership is behind keeping the downtown online, with the city, Southslope, Iowa Network Systems and the Gazette working together to make the project possible.

The infrastructure was donated, and the ICDD pays for the program's operating expenses.

Officials say other phases of the project will be explored in the future.
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