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PR: Downtown Waterville Wi-Fi Reaches Half a Million Users as Revitalization Continues to Pick Up Speed

March 16, 2021

WATERVILLE, ME, 3/16/2021 – The free outdoor public Wi-Fi offered in the City of Waterville has continued to increase in popularity, connecting more than 500,000 users to date since its inception in August of 2018. Conceived by Colby College and Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC), Downtown Waterville Wi-Fi (DWW) is owned and operated by CMGC and is sponsored by Kennebec Savings Bank, MaineGeneral, Northern Light Inland Hospital, and Thomas College’s Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation.

DWW provides high-speed outdoor internet access north-south from Post Office Square to the Hathaway Creative Center and east-west from Head of Falls to The Concourse. DWW collaborates with Axiom, an internet service provider based in Machias focused on delivering broadband to rural communities, and FirstLight, an internet service provider in the northeast. 

“Remote accessibility is more important than ever and we want to give people the opportunity to connect downtown. Likewise, bridging the gap between affordability and availability is critical to community members who rely on broadband accessibility as they visit the downtown district for business, the arts, dining, and shopping,” expressed Waterville’s City Manager Steve Daly. 

Providing access to free outdoor Wi-Fi gives businesses in downtown Waterville another value-added tool to support digital commerce for customers and vendors without expending cellular data, leverage increased foot traffic, and support consumer spending. In addition, improving the ability to connect with customers, both virtually and within the bounds of physical infrastructure, gives establishments the power to improve overall consumer satisfaction and retention during a time when the community is yearning for outdoor experiences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“From Post Office Square to the Hathaway Creative Center, Downtown’s free public Wi-Fi has continued to connect residents and visitors alike to Waterville’s diverse array of businesses, community amenities, and eateries,” said Garvan Donegan, director of planning, innovation, economic development for Central Maine Growth Council. “Supporting downtown Waterville’s small businesses by enhancing their digital presence through increasing access to online tools, like e-commerce, is essential to the community’s economic vitality. While aiming to facilitate the continuity of economic development in the district as more businesses expand and grow into the area, we hope visitors and residents will be more likely to spend time downtown while enjoying its amenities.”

About Central Maine Growth Council:

The Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC), located in Waterville, Maine, is a public-private collaborative regional economic development partnership funded by municipalities and businesses who share a common vision of economic prosperity for our region. CMGC is committed to fostering a robust regional economy. Our belief is that the standard of living and quality of life of our citizens is best served by a vibrant, healthy economy. This is accomplished with a strong successful business community. We are here to help business succeed. Whether you already have a business in central Maine or are looking to locate in our region, we invite you to find out more about our operations. Take a look around the website, or give us a call at (207) 680-7300.

Last modified: March 16, 2021

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