Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Deputy County Executive/CIO Phil Bertolini announced today that downtown Oxford is the first community to receive free Wi-Fi under the revitalized Wireless Oakland initiative. They held an afternoon news conference at Red Knapp's American Grill with Scott Zimmer, president of Air Advantage; Madonna Van Fossen, executive director of the Oxford Downtown Development Authority; and Joe Young, Village of Oxford manager.
Patterson announced the concept of Wireless Oakland back in 2005. It was a well-developed and ambitious project that fell victim to the recession when private investors backed out. In 2011, the concept of Wireless Oakland returned in a revitalized version with a public-private partnership. Air Advantage is providing the northern and western tiers of the county with competitively priced wireless broadband services where none was available before.
"As part of the Wireless Oakland initiative, the county is providing Air Advantage access to its strategically placed towers in exchange for free Wi-Fi services in some downtown areas," Patterson said. "We never gave up on our efforts to make broadband a tool to help our residents be competitive in this new high tech economy."
Van Fossen said the free wireless internet in downtown Oxford will help business growth in the area.
"This is a great opportunity to help businesses in downtown Oxford become even more connected, especially through social media marketing," Van Fossen said. "It's an honor to be another pilot community for Oakland County."
The next downtown areas expected to have free Wi-Fi include Holly and Clarkston.
"Air Advantage is appreciative of the opportunity to partner with Oakland County and its communities and we are excited to be able to provide this free service to area residents, as well as the opportunity to provide broadband services where other alternatives may not exist," Zimmer said.
"We thank everyone for their support, especially Village of Oxford Manager Joe Young," Bertolini said. "We hope to have more broadband available to everyone that needs it very soon."
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