City of Wheeling, W.Va., Embarks on New Wi-Fi Initiative With $75,000 Grant From Verizon

WHEELING, W. Va. - In an effort to better serve the public and government employees in Wheeling, W. Va., the city is partnering with Verizon to expand wireless broadband access to key downtown areas.

With a $75,000 grant from Verizon West Virginia, Wheeling now can construct a secure Wi-Fi network in the downtown area that will improve the efficiency of certain government operations and allow visitors and local residents to enjoy wireless broadband access at local downtown venues. 

At a news conference Wednesday (Nov. 19) at the Wheeling City-County Building, Mayor Andy McKenzie applauded Verizon for the grant.

"Technology is important to the progress of the City of Wheeling," he said. "Through partnerships with companies like Verizon, we are able to make this a reality.  We look forward to providing wireless access in the City-County Building and elsewhere in downtown for our city employees and the public."

Wi-Fi - a system of connecting computers to the Internet using radio waves instead of telephone lines or cable - is expected to be expanded in Wheeling early next year.

John R. Ruddick, vice president of public affairs, policy and communications for Verizon West Virginia, said, "As West Virginia's leading broadband company, Verizon is enabling more residents and employers to make the high-speed connections that are important to them. This project will improve Wheeling city employees' efficiency and make the downtown area even more attractive."

About the City of Wheeling
A charter change in 1992 created a dynamic partnership among local government, residents and the business community.  The City Council and Administration forged a team that is user- and customer-friendly.  A newly reorganized Department of Economic and Community Development is customer and project-oriented, distinct from a bureaucratic, permit-based operation. The City Council, working with a broad base of residential and business citizens, has adopted a new Comprehensive Plan for the city that calls for preserving and improving its wonderfully distinct neighborhoods as well as for focused economic growth.  City government is proving itself with its commitment to the plan as well as with its partnerships with the Chamber of Commerce, neighborhood organizations and the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation.

About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 71 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.