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Free WiFI during Salem Super Cruise

SALEM — Once again, free municipal WiFi will be available in the downtown and select areas of the city during the Salem Super Cruise, dubbed Quaker WiFi, starting today.

During the 2019 Salem Super Cruise, there were more than 1,500 simultaneous connections at any one time during the four-day event from the free public WiFi.

Quaker WiFi will cover the major public areas of the Salem Super Cruise, including the vendor and public areas of South Broadway and the vendor and public areas of the city lot across from Boneshakers. There will be a special protected network available for all vendors involved with the Salem Super Cruise so they can have a secure, protected and reliable WiFi system for internal use. They won’t have to rely on their phones or hot spots for internet access. This service will be available to any vendor of the Salem Super Cruise at no cost to them.

“Free WiFi has been a dream of mine for many, many years. It is something that has been on my bucket list for quite a while,” Salem Computer Center owner Frank Zamarelli said. “Many businesses in the city already offer WiFi, but this is different.”

He described it as “an enterprise level wireless system using a complex mix of wireless radios, access points, and strategically placed antennas to bring a system to life that will ‘fill the gaps’ and allow many simultaneous connections. This is the same type of system you would see at Progressive Field in Cleveland, or Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. I first got the idea when I visited Mogadore, Ohio during the Christmas holiday season several years ago, and they had free WiFi in their downtown shopping area. I just thought that was a really cool idea.”

Salem Computer Center celebrates its 34th anniversary as a downtown business in Salem this year, offering the free WiFi as an anniversary present to the city.

“I just felt that we could do this and make sure it was free and available to anyone who would like to use it,” he said.

The name of the system will show up on computers, phones, tablets, or any other device as “Quaker WiFi” with no password required and a 30-minute lease to use the system. Users can reconnect if necessary, allowing for the most efficient use of the bandwidth. SCC purchased all the equipment, external cases, and antennas to make it “hide” as best as possible.

“When I approached the Super Cruise committee with this idea several years ago, they were thrilled that we could add this service to the success of this favorite city activity,” Zamarelli said, adding, “This is my gift back to a city which for the past 34 years has supported me and my business and family in more ways than you can imagine. It is my honor to provide this system to the Salem community.”

Zamarelli plans to continue offering the service during the Salem Super Cruise and said he hopes to keep some or all of the areas covered with permanent service, and expand the system to include more areas of the city until the town’s covered in free WiFi. It’s a large project, but he said he’s excited to do this for the community.

For more information, call Zamarelli at Salem Computer Center 330-332-2201, or visit www.quakerwifi.com for up-to-date information and coverage maps.

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