Free Internet Access Provided At Miller, Coolidge Parks

Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Jeff Averbeck, of AirNet Group, speaks at Miller Plaza as Omar Saley, of Expressive Networks, Tennessee Economic Development Commissioner Tony Grande and Mayor Bob Corker look on. Click to enlarge.
Jeff Averbeck, of AirNet Group, speaks at Miller Plaza as Omar Saley, of Expressive Networks, Tennessee Economic Development Commissioner Tony Grande and Mayor Bob Corker look on. Click to enlarge.
- photo by John Wilson

Chattanoogans enjoying Miller Park, Miller Plaza or Coolidge Park can now also send emails or get the latest news directly from a wireless laptop computer or PDA.

AirNet Group, a Chattanooga technology company, has installed equipment at both sites which allows free internet access to park visitors who have a laptop computer equipped with a wireless card. This service is being provided by AirNet at no cost to the city or to those using the service, it was announced at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

At the same time, officials said Chattanooga is receiving a $25,000 state grant for use in promoting the city as a "high-tech destination."

State Education Commissioner Tony Grande said, "You can tell your story better than we can."



Mayor Bob Corker said, "Chattanooga is gaining a reputation across the
country of being a city with tremendous technology resources. We are very appreciative of AirNet for donating this service to the City, and believe it is another tangible byproduct of our digital vision. Now, if they wish, people in our community will be able to conduct business while enjoying our parks and the tremendous beauty our city offers."

The new technology is immediately available and will provide citizens full Internet access within the boundaries of the Miller Plaza, Miller Park and Coolidge Park.

Jeff Averbeck, President and CEO of AirNet Group said, "Chattanoogans can
now come to either of these parks with a laptop equipped with a 802.11
wireless card and logon to the Internet or send email free. With our
wireless technology and multimedia communications software, users can leave the confines of their home or office and never be tethered to their desk again."

Recently, Chattanooga has begun to be recognized throughout the State of
Tennessee as an emerging technology hub, the mayor said.

"We are excited about the innovative technology development work that is
happening in Chattanooga,"
Commissioner Grande said. "Nothing will be more important to the future of Tennessee as we move into the New Economy than our technology assets and the new business opportunities that they will create.

“And, nowhere is it more important for us to capitalize on and better leverage the world-class technology resources than right here in Chattanooga.”

The grant is being made to encourage support of the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation’s (TTDC) new Tennessee Technology Alliance, a New Economy Strategy initiative designed to better coordinate and capitalize on the collective strength of our regional technology councils across the state, it was stated.

Through this grant, the Chattanooga Technology Council will be responsible: for sharing ideas and best practices; helping to formulate a Tennessee technology legislative agenda that highlights ways we can support the state’s growing technology community; recruiting companies to participate and present at each year’s annual Tennessee Venture Forum; and supporting a statewide business plan competition in partnership with Tennessee’s colleges and universities to strengthen entrepreneurial education opportunities in our state.

"If Tennessee is to successfully participate in the New Economy, then we must continue to move ideas, innovation and technologies out of our institutions into the private sector," said Tom Rogers, executive director of TTDC. "By banding our regional tech councils together through this new Tennessee Technology Alliance, we can really jump-start our progress across the state.”

Tennessee Means Technology is a year-long initiative designed to leverage and capitalize on Tennessee’s science and technology advantages for new business investment and job creation.

TTDC joins ECD as a key partner in the Tennessee Means Technology campaign. TTDC was formed in 1998 by the Tennessee General Assembly to forge Tennessee’s role in the New Economy. Led by a statewide board composed of many of the state’s top technology leaders, TTDC works to help connect ideas, people and resources.

Jeff Averbeck of AirNet Group uses a wireless-enabled laptop computer during a recent testing session at Miller Plaza. The city of Chattanooga is partnering with AirNet Group to give free wireless internet access at Miller Plaza, Miller Park and Coolidge Park. Click to enlarge.
Jeff Averbeck of AirNet Group uses a wireless-enabled laptop computer during a recent testing session at Miller Plaza. The city of Chattanooga is partnering with AirNet Group to give free wireless internet access at Miller Plaza, Miller Park and Coolidge Park. Click to enlarge.
- photo by Michael Locke

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