Press release from NextGen Eureka:
Eureka is one step closer to being a 21st-century city! The Clarke Museum, Next Generation Eureka, and Eureka Main Street are partnering to offer free public Wi-Fi in the Clarke Plaza in Old Town Eureka. An anonymous donor has also generously provided funding on behalf of the Humboldt County Library. Next Generation Eureka will have a free photo booth available to celebrate the official opening of the Wi-Fi on January 5th during Arts Alive. Come take fun pictures with props at The Madrone Taphouse and post them to our Facebook event page to be entered into a drawing to win a prize. The prize includes gift cards from places like Old Town Coffee and Chocolates and the Madrone Taphouse.
The Clarke Plaza Wi-Fi service will be available all hours except between midnight and five am, so there’s no longer any need to rush through those important online tasks before the library or coffee shop closes.
Free public Wi-Fi has become a standard offering in major cities and small towns alike across the country – even our neighbors in Arcata have free Wi-Fi on the Plaza. And there’s proof aplenty that providing this amenity brings significant benefits for the cities and their residents:
● San Leandro offers free Wi-Fi along an eighteen-mile fiber optic loop to promote economic development as well as drawing the community to previously unused outdoor space. Businesses and their customers benefit from easy access to high-speed internet service.
● San Francisco has offered a free Wi-Fi service on Market Street, the city’s busiest and most economically diverse corridor, since 2013. As a result, street merchants can take online payments, event organizers can broadcast live on social media, and tourists, attendees at city parades, users of ride-sharing apps, and struggling populations can all access services more easily.
Similar positive outcomes are expected here in Eureka. “Tourists have a limited number of places where they can connect to Wi-Fi at no cost, and offering this service gives them an additional reason to spend time and money in Old Town,” says Aubrey Richeson from Next Generation Eureka. “Just having this amenity identifies Eureka as a forward-thinking city with a vibrant downtown, helping to improve visitor and resident retention alike.”
Students are likely to be significant beneficiaries of the service, as are event organizers and attendees. Next Generation Eureka, for example, is planning to partner with other organizations to create special events with Wi-Fi at their center, and having free Wi-Fi available will add a whole new dimension to next year’s Friday Night markets for both vendors and attendees.
More information about the Wi-Fi service is available from Next Generation Eureka on Facebook or at www.nextgeneureka.org.
Next Generation Eureka (Next Gen) is a youth-driven civic group that represents Millenials in the pursuit of growth and development for Eureka. Next Generation Eureka works to ensure that young adult perspectives are heard and collaborates with other community organizations to improve various aspects of Eureka, including professional opportunities and entertainment. Next Generation Eureka is a Dream Maker project through The Ink People Center for the Arts.