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UB Partnership Brings Free Wi-Fi to Downtown Buffalo

By Daniel Mayper

Published July 14, 2015

If you’re a UB student out for a night in downtown Buffalo, and you suddenly realize that you forgot to submit your research paper (due momentarily), having reliable Wi-Fi available would be a good thing. Thanks to a UB partnership with M&T Bank and the City of Buffalo, that service is now available: free Wi-Fi hotspots have been added to the downtown area.

Daniel Mayper (UB Student, Class of 2016) was raised in Long Beach, a small beach town in Long Island, NY. He already holds an Associates Degree in Marketing and is working towards completing his Bachelors in Economics with a minor in World Trade.  His goal is to one day become a Chief Marketing Officer.

President Satish K. Tripathi shakes hands with Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown while Robert Wilmers, M&T chairman and CEO, looks on.

The Wi-Fi connection, consisting of 30 access points with a range of about 250 feet, has been installed along Main Street from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus to Canalside and the Erie Basin Marina. The project is designed to make the lives of downtown workers, college students, residents and visitors more pleasant.

After sitting down with Kevin Szlis, Network Engineer for Network and Classroom Services, part of UB Information Technology, UBIT News was able to get the inside scoop on why the time is right for a project of this scope, and what role UB is playing in the partnership.

"Networkers network, that’s what we do," Kevin said. "We already installed cables downtown running along the subway from South Campus, and since infrastructure work can be complicated it’s not uncommon for an organization to install and maintain the infrastructure while several other organizations share in its use."

Because UB is already expanding its footprint downtown with the new campus, this project requires no new additions to UB’s network infrastructure. M&T Bank has installed access points that take advantage of the fiber optics and switches already put into place by UB.

At a press conference announcing the project, UB President Satish K. Tripathi reaffirmed UB’s commitment to a city and a region on the rise.

"UB has been a leader in developing our regional fiber network," Tripathi said. "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."

Downtown Buffalo is a growing city full of young students, entrepreneurs and business professionals. Not only will consistent Wi-Fi improve the overall quality of life in the area, it will help young ambitious minds continue to grow the city. Being able to do research on your phone in between meetings, send emails, share documents and all other Wi-Fi related functions save time...and, the cliché says, time is money.