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Jefferson Avenue "transformation" starts with free Wi-Fi

City of Buffalo

The Jefferson Avenue business district, in Buffalo, is slated for some major improvements. And it's starting out with free Wi-Fi.

Mayor Byron Brown says, the city is partnering with Blue Wireless, to bring free public Wi-Fi to Jefferson Avenue. BlueWireless President, Brian Gelfand says, Wi-Fi is a necessity, not a luxury, in today's world.

"Internet and broadband connectivity is a communication tool. It is a way to learn. It is a way to start a business, to do your homework, to get a job and it's essential. Internet has to be available everywhere. It has to be affordable and it has to be available to everyone. And that's what we're trying to do with the JEFFREE WiFi project," Gelfand says. 

Credit Chris Caya WBFO News
Mayor Byron Brown (left) looks on as Blue Wireless President Brian Gelfand addresses the media.

The network, Mayor Brown says, will include hot spots and access points along Jefferson between East Ferry and East Utica Streets.  
"This will be a great asset for businesses and residents along Jefferson Avenue. And it will continue the process of the build out and the massive investments that we are planning to make on Jefferson Avenue." And Brown said, those investments will total more than $50 million.      
"This is a pretty vibrant area of the city of Buffalo. But in the next two years. I want people to look at what Jefferson looks like now. In two years you will not recognize it. Because as vibrant as it is now it will go through a tremendous transformation," Brown said.  

Business districts citywide, the mayor says, are the economic engines of Buffalo's neighborhoods. He says, the JEFFREE WiFi network's expected to be operational by the end of January.