Network based systems

Covington Offers Corporate Advertising, Naming Opportunities for ‘Covington Connect’ Wi-Fi Network

Nearly 44,000 people registered. More than a million sessions with an average duration of 44 minutes each.

Since its inception in the fall of 2020, the free public Wi-Fi network Covington Connect has proven to be a boon to Covington families and students who have used it to access everything from schoolwork to job training in through health providers. Visitors have also used it to access information about the city.

Wanting to sustain and expand the network to keep it available over the long term for even more families and visitors, the City is looking for a corporate partner to sponsor the network in exchange for naming rights, on-page advertising opportunities, and more. network home and elsewhere, email marketing and valuable metadata detailing foot traffic and more.

“This is a great opportunity for a local or regional business to partner with the City to help us maintain this valuable and internationally recognized service for our residents and visitors to our business districts, and we believe the partnership will be equally valuable to our partner like us,” said Essam Elgusain, City IT Manager/System Analyst. “Again, there are 44,000 people registered to use it.”

Companies interested in detailed information about opportunities should email [email protected]

The City recently hired Poncho Digital Solutions — a company that helps organizations monetize their online presence — to help find a partner or partners. Two company officials made an introductory presentation to the Covington Board of Commissioners about their plans and expectations at the June 28 board meeting. (Elgusain’s update on Covington Connect, followed by Poncho Digital’s presentation, can be seen from 2:59 p.m.)

The free public Wi-Fi network was unveiled to help students learn remotely due to the pandemic and to help bridge the digital divide in the city. Initiative partners included altafiber (formerly Cincinnati Bell), the Housing Authority of Covington, Covington Independent Public Schools, local IT companies Blair Technology Group and ReGadget, and Comp-U-Dopt, a nonprofit based in Houston.

The project included the installation of new optical fiber in social housing complexes and the establishment of 124 Wi-Fi “hotspots” or wireless hotspots, which created connectivity zones.

Elgusain told the Commission that people can only access the network from about 30% of Covington’s geographic area. That coverage could increase to around 50% as part of an expansion opportunity, he said.

Earlier this year, the network was named one of the world’s 50 most transformative “smart” projects.

Poncho Digital co-founder Nick Zaggy said the company is looking for businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes. While the highest priority was finding a long-term global sponsor, Poncho would also create opportunities as small as a restaurant or bar that wanted to advertise food and drink specials for a month at a time.

“Throughout the network, there are many different ways to get creative with monetizing the network, beyond just blanket sponsorship,” he said. “We can help small businesses introduce themselves to consumers who might not otherwise be able to.”

“We’re open to discussing your organization’s specific needs, so don’t hesitate to contact us,” Zaggy said.

Elgusain accepted.

“This will help unlock the potential of this service further,” he said. “We believe the partnership can do great things for Covington, so we’re going to be as flexible as possible on everything from the ‘look’ of the partnership to its start date.”

Town of Covington


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