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Home > Leadership > Mayor > Archived Press Releases > 2015 Archives > July 2015 > Downtown Buffalo Connected to New Wifi

Downtown Buffalo Connected to New Wifi

Downtown Buffalo Connected to New Wi-Fi M&T Bank, Mayor Byron Brown and University at Buffalo Partner to Launch New Wireless Internet Service

July 14, 2015—Buffalo Connect – the new outdoor, public Wi-Fi network running along Main Street in downtown Buffalo and into the popular Canalside area – is now available for use by downtown residents, employees and visitors.

The new service was launched today by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, M&T Bank Chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers and University at Buffalo President Satish Tripathi.

M&T Bank led the effort to engineer, purchase and install the system in partnership with the City of Buffalo, UB and 16 other public- and private-sector partners.

“If downtown Buffalo is going to be a thriving engine of opportunity for all city residents, we must find ways to support the entrepreneurs who are driving technological advances and creating jobs,” said Mayor Byron Brown.  “By providing city residents, members of the business community and visitors with free public Wi-Fi, we will continue to attract more people and business to downtown Main Street, while making targeted investments to improve our city’s wireless infrastructure.  I thank M&T Bank for leading the effort to engineer, purchase and install the system in partnership with the City of Buffalo and the University at Buffalo as we work together to further strengthen our economy.”

“Every day it seems, downtown Buffalo is adding new residents, new employers and employees, new visitors, new and redeveloped buildings—and now new public Wi-Fi.  Buffalo Connect will make downtown Buffalo an easier place to stay connected, and that’s good for our City, and for the people who live, work and visit here,” said M&T Chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers. 

Downtown Buffalo currently hosts more than 58,000 workers, including 3,300 M&T Bank employees.

With a major presence on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the University at Buffalo provided fiber assets and expertise in network engineering design and management. University at Buffalo students also helped design the new logo and digital experience for Buffalo Connect.

“This is a great time to be in Buffalo—whether you are working here, studying here, or coming to visit and enjoy all our great city has to offer. UB is excited to partner in the expansion of our region’s Wi-Fi capabilities to better serve the people in our downtown corridor each day. This network will be a terrific asset to our community, and we are proud that we can lend our leadership and expertise—including the involvement of our student engineers and artists—to make this regional fiber network a reality,” said University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi.

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and National Grid have also been partners in the project, providing locations and power for some of the access points to make sure continuous coverage is provided along Main Street.

“We are very pleased to be a partner in this progressive project that broadens public access to free Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the downtown corridor.  This will allow users easy access to our transportation websites, which provide real-time bus information, Metro time tables and airport flight schedules,” said NFTA Executive Director Kimberley A. Minkel

The network operates through more than 30 “hot spot” access points running along Main Street. The access points, which have a range of approximately 250-feet, are now installed and operating from the Theater District through Canalside and Erie Basin Marina. Additional access points are being installed to extend the network to North Street, on the doorstep of the growing Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

The public network will allow downtown residents, workers and visitors another way to visit Web sites, use social media and even stream video. Users should know that information transmitted on public Wi-Fi networks is not encrypted, and public Wi-Fi networks should not be used to convey private information like Social Security numbers or credit card numbers.

About M&T Bank
Founded in 1856, M&T Bank Corp. (www.mtb.com) is one of the 20 largest U.S. commercial bank holding companies, with more than $98 billion of assets and more than 650 branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. Member FDIC.

About the University at Buffalo
The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's nearly 30,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.