UniCity Partners with the Housing Authority of Covington to bring Wi-Fi to students, families in need

At Cincinnati Bell, we are proud of our commitment to investing in communities.

As the pandemic hit, the Housing Authority of Covington (HAC) noted an increased need for Internet among their low-income residents. As part of our digital equity initiative, UniCity, we partnered with the HAC to expand Internet access to people who needed it for work, school, healthcare, and more.

The Problem

Internet access became critical for families and students as districts adopted a distance learning model during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond that, Wi-Fi access connects residents to critical community resources like telehealth services and employment information and opportunities.

Our low-income residents are particularly likely to experience service gaps in education, health care, employment and retail due to the digital divide. Our youth experienced disruptions in their schooling and inadequate IT resources to participate in their daily lessons and complete homework assignments. Digital inequality deprives people these critical connections.

Jon Adkins
Director/Resident Services
The Housing Authority of Covington

As schools and businesses began to close, internet access became a necessity, not a luxury.

The Solution

UniCity worked to expand Internet access for HAC residents by creating about 125 Wi-Fi neighborhood access points. We also ran new fiber to neighborhoods that lacked fiber services, particularly in neighborhoods with high concentrations of Covington students.

As part of the initiative, residents of the HAC’s biggest apartment complexes, Latonia Terrace and City Heights, now have access to complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi.

The Impact

Campus-wide Wi-Fi has made “a world of difference” for HAC residents.

HAC houses 545 school-aged children, who now have the resources to attend online classes and complete homework. Adult residents have used the new services to continue college or vocational training programs or to conduct job searches. Beyond education and employment, community members are utilizing the technology for Zoom calls, telehealth services, social media, and more.

This could not have happened without UniCity. Many residents have voiced their new ability to be included in the virtual space as life-changing.

Jon Adkins
Director/Resident Services
The Housing Authority of Covington

The negative impact of the digital divide became painfully apparent when schools closed their doors. But a silver lining emerged — the life-changing online resources that HAC residents can now access thanks to the Housing Authority of Covington and Cincinnati Bell.

The impact of UniCity for residents and their children will be felt not only in education, but also in employment, finance, healthcare, and beyond. 

Campus-wide Wi-Fi will continue to provide a crucial link to information and resources that will not only help stabilize families, but help them on their paths to self-sufficiency and better futures.

Jon Adkins
Director/Resident Services
The Housing Authority of Covington

The time is now. To learn more, connect with your UniCity specialist by filling out the form here or email unicity@cinbell.com.

Steps to becoming the next smart City with UniCity

As you start to hear more and more city’s becoming the next smart city, there is a lot of questions that come to mind how your city can be next. The good news is, UniCity has a dedicated team at Cincinnati Bell to help answer all of these questions and help you get started.  Becoming the next Smart City is easier than you think and now is the perfect time to prioritize your next steps.

This topic is particularly important to Cincinnati Bell because we believe in the power of smart city solutions and emerging technologies to address unprecedented challenges like those faced through the pandemic. Through UniCity, our objective is to leverage our robust fiber network to deliver content, visibility and analytics to municipalities through IoT and Intelligent Wi-Fi. As our cities strive to advance creativity and innovation, equity and civic engagement, smart city technologies can deliver human and virtual connectivity and engagement while also delivering real time data to measure impacts and better understand community trends and needs. We believe that the future of cities and innovation spans cities of all sizes and classes.

With an eye on ethics and progress, Cincinnati Bell is working to build opportunity and solve hard problems through strategic partnerships with the UniCity approach.

The UniCity Approach graphic

What’s next?

Schedule a virtual appointment with the UniCity team to discuss next steps around your landscape and design a solution to best fit your city’s needs. This consultative approach will map out a sustainable financial model to help you fund your smart city build.

In 2020, many communities leveraged funding from the CARES Act to build and sustain UniCity solutions.  With additional coronavirus relief funds coming available and the extended deadline for CARES Act expenditures, it is a great time to get started!

The time is now. To learn more, connect with your UniCity specialist by filling out the form here or email unicity@cinbell.com.

Leveraging UniCity in Venues and Campuses

The UniCity approach, experience, and IoT (Internet of Things) partners also support smart solutions for small-to-large scale sports and cultural venues and campuses. Whether you are a developer interested in foot traffic analytics at your mixed-use facility or a University marketing team looking to expand recruiting and development strategies, UniCity can work with you to integrate smart solutions into your existing technology systems.

With a scalable and interoperable intelligent Wi-Fi software, UniCity can support and build capabilities over time.

A couple of our UniCity Venues currently deployed are The Levitt Pavilion and The UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio.  These smart venues will continue to grow as UniCity expands and provides a Public Wi-Fi Network.

Levitt Pavilion Dayton

Cincinnati Bell partnered with Levitt Pavilion Dayton to provide free public Wi-Fi for concertgoers. Every season, Levitt Pavilion Dayton presents 50 free concerts of diverse and high-caliber programming with the intention of bringing our community together in a creative place-making space that is safe and family-friendly.

Levitt Pavilion Dayton logo

We are very grateful for their commitment and enthusiasm to this project, and we are proud to have them as our technology partner moving forward. This collaborative approach to this project is a great example of the many partnerships that are contributing to the success of Levitt Pavilion Dayton. We look forward to seeing everyone on the lawn!

Lisa Wagner
Executive Director of Levitt Pavilion Dayton

University of Dayton Arena

The private university — founded in 1850 and home to about 8,500 undergraduates, the arena plays a central role in the small city. As the arena went through a major redesign, expanding their footprint allowing for more spacious, wider concourses and expanded square footage. 

Cincinnati Bell stepped in to bring the online community together. With the company’s installation of Wi-Fi, UD was able to develop a game-day app for fans to customize everyone’s interactive experience and to enhance arena operations, such as monitoring traffic flow throughout the space.

“Connectivity was very poor but we were able to bring technology into the 21st century,” said Jason Praeter, President of Entertainment and Communications for Cincinnati Bell. “We’re very proud to be part of a strong partnership to preserve such an iconic space, while bringing it up to modern standards and expectations.”

University of Dayton logo

Cincinnati Bell has been a tremendous partner with Dayton Flyers Athletics. We are proud to provide our more than 13,000 fans and guests with a world-class Wi-Fi experience and it couldn’t have been done without the great work of Cincinnati Bell.

Scott DeBolt, SR
Associate Athletics Director

Interested in learning more about UniCity Smart City solutions? Click the button below and a UniCity business specialist will reach out to you within 1 business day.

Introducing UniCity

What is UniCity?

Combining technology and community development expertise, UniCity works with governments of all sizes to problem solve through smart city solutions. Building on a foundation of connectivity through fiber and high-speed public Wi-Fi networks, UniCity works hand-in-hand with communities to custom build a suite of technology applications to impact business district vibrancy, neighborhood based enhancements, public safety, and data-driven policy decision making. In addition to end-to-end technology support, UniCity uses a consultative approach to support the development of public-private partnerships, longer-term strategic plans, and sustainable financial models.

Continue reading “Introducing UniCity”