Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Gary Axelbank
Director of Public Relations at Monroe College

Thank you for this opportunity. For more than seventy years Monroe College has been providing educational opportunities leading to meaningful careers for students in a wide variety of academic areas. While most recently we’ve expanded our Associate and Bachelor’s degree programs to include Criminal Justice and Hospitality and the Culinary Arts, as well as a Masters program in Business, on our campuses in the Fordham section of the Bronx and in New Rochelle, our School of Information Technology has been a staple of our offerings for generations.

Maybe in the past students could be successful without access to the latest technology. But we recognize that in the modern world access to technology can no longer be optional. It is a hard and fast requirement for anyone seeking upward mobility. This is true in our classrooms and labs and also for our students in their homes, neighborhoods, and even the businesses they frequent.

Because Monroe President Stephen Jerome recognizes that we are part of the community we serve, we are doing what we can to provide not only quality technology education leading to degrees and careers, but also a service to the community at large to help them get, in plain language, on the air with wireless technology.

I’d like to point out a couple of people to you. First, please recognize Dana Spiegel of NYC Wireless. Also, I’d like you to recognize Professor John McMullen. Professor McMullen has made it a required part of his Wireless Technology course that students undertake a project of wiring up a park, business, or other organization. They work in conjunction with NYCwireless and all wireless technology provided by these installations is free to the businesses and to the general public.

Since last spring the list of who they’ve gotten on line is long, but I’ll give you some samples, Professor McMullen’s students have wired:
- Stuyvesant Park in lower Manhattan, which was the first solar powered access in NYC,
- Java's Brewin' in Harlem,
- Coogan’s Restaurant, on Broadway at 169th Street in Manhattan
- Brooklyn Bridge Park
- Madison Square Park
- a Subway Restaurant in the Fordham section of the Bronx
- The City Line Diner in Woodlawn
- And the G Bakery in New Rochelle.
They’re also working with the Jerome/Gun Hill BID to get some of those Bronx businesses on the air.

So Monroe College encourages an aggressive approach to getting all of New York up to speed with the latest technology and we’re prepared to do our part.

If anyone is interested in having their business, not-for-profit organization, or other locale brought up to speed with wireless internet technology, please see me or Professor McMullen before you leave today. We have some fliers and other information which we’ll be happy to give you. Thank you for your time.


Dana Spiegel said...

As the Executive Director of NYCwireless, I'd like to correct some of the information that Mr. Axelbank made.

Mr. McMullen and his classes have indeed been very active in helping get more hotspots installed in businesses in Harlem and the Bronx. Java's Brewin', Coogan’s Restaurant, Subway, The City Line Diner, and the G Bakery were all projects that his class took on, and with the help and guidance of NYCwireless, now offer free Wi-Fi.

However, Stuyvesant Cove Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Madison Square Park are all much bigger projects for which NYCwireless is responsible. These big parks required significant resources, planning, and ongoing maintenance that NYCwireless provides. A few of Mr. McMullen's students did volunteer for a few hours in each case to help with the actual equipment installation, but did so only under very close and careful supervision and direction from qualified NYCwireless engineers.