‘Endless possibilities’ for free WiFi, more cameras in Oregon District

Published: Friday, September 06, 2019 @ 1:00 AM


            Cincinnati Bell is donating the upfront costs to install free public WiFi and cameras in the Oregon District. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS
Cincinnati Bell is donating the upfront costs to install free public WiFi and cameras in the Oregon District. STAFF/BONNIE MEIBERS

One month after nine people were killed by a gunman in the Oregon District, the area will get seven additional cameras.

Cincinnati Bell will install a fiber to operate the cameras and also deliver free public WiFi in the Oregon District.

The company is donating the upfront costs to install the cameras and WiFi.

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On Aug. 4 a 24-year-old gunman, Connor Betts, opened fire in the Oregon District.

The Oregon District Business Association and Cincinnati Bell had discussed the project for several months, meeting five or six times to talk about how to fund it. After the mass shooting in the district, Cincinnati Bell decided to donate everything for the project, said Kyle Babirad, president of the Oregon District Business Association.

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The presence of additional cameras in the Oregon District will make it easier for police to quickly piece together details and catch a perpetrator when a crime occurs.

“As someone who works down here, I am pretty jazzed about it,” Babirad said.

Babirad is hopeful the fiber will be installed by the end of October. A Cincinnati Bell spokesman said that the construction will be non-intrusive for the neighborhood.

The WiFi will cover East Fifth Street from Wayne Avenue to Patterson Boulevard. The seven new cameras will be located throughout the entertainment district in alleyways and parking lots, most of them aimed at East Fifth Street.

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The business association is especially excited about the WiFi because it will allow for a landing page before accessing the internet that will give the business association a chance to reach customers with one unified message.

“This is something we can use to engage with our customers,” Babirad said.

Babirad said the page before getting onto the WiFi could offer links to donate to the victims’ fund or advertisements for upcoming events in the Oregon District.

“There are endless possibilities for it,” Babirad said. “It’s a way for the whole neighborhood to engage. It makes us more connected.”

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Cincinnati Bell is calling this project a “Smart City” solution.

“I hope we can be a leader in the city of Dayton on smart city initiatives like this,” Babirad said. “We see ourselves as the premier dining and entertainment district, and we want people to come down and enjoy themselves, be safe and have a good time. And we’re really committed to it being that way, so this is just one step of many that push on that.”