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Posted on: October 26, 2022

Free Wi-Fi Arrives in Downtown Ashland

ribbon cutting

The Town of Ashland is thrilled to announce the launch of a free Wi-Fi network now available to residents, visitors, and businesses in historic downtown Ashland. 

The network, created in partnership with Connected Solutions Group, LLC (CSG) officially launched on Monday, Oct. 24th with a ribbon cutting in front of Ashland Town Hall. Vice Mayor John Hodges, Councilmembers Dan McGraw and Kathy Abbott, CSG’s CEO Michael Pittman, and Town staff were present for the event.

CSG is a national leader in wireless hardware deployment and services. This exciting project was made possible thanks the Town’s ongoing relationship and involvement with the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC), a non-profit created by the Commonwealth to support innovation, opportunity, and job creation in Virginia.  

“We’ve been discussing the deployment of free public Wi-Fi in our historic downtown for years,” said Matt Reynal, Ashland’s Deputy Town Manager. “We recognize that it will attract even more people to the Center of the Universe and help support our tourism economy.”

people at coffee shop

The downtown wi-fi network project was also undertaken to better support and meet the needs of business owners. 

Reynal added, “Our downtown businesses, especially our restaurants and cafés, have been telling us for some time that their existing internet service was not sufficient to run their point of sales systems while also providing free Wi-Fi to their customers. Our hope is that the Town-sponsored free downtown Wi-Fi network will take some of the burden off those businesses and provide a valuable service to our visitors and this community.”

The network hubs are housed in four locations:  Town Hall (121 Thompson St), Ashland/Hanover Visitor Center (112 N. Railroad Ave.), Ashland Theatre (205 England St.), and the Ashland Police Station (601 England St.). 

Utilizing CSG’s partnerships with Verizon, Aura, and Cradlepoint, the hubs were strategically built and positioned to help provide the most coverage across the historic district. Depending on network usage and performance, additional hubs may be added in the future. 

downtown wifi map

“As a lifelong Richmond native and a huge fan of Ashland, I was truly honored that our organization was tapped to assist with something as exciting as providing a town-wide Wi-Fi network with Verizon wireless backhauled,” Michael Pittman, CSG’s CEO, said. “It’s such a wonderful town that I visit regularly with my family and helping to bring it forward with technology and provide this service is very rewarding.”

To log on to the Town’s free downtown Wi-Fi network, simply enter the coverage zone and select “Town of Ashland – Guest WIFI” to get started.

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