• United States

Telerama brings Wi-Fi to Pittsburgh arts district

Oct 08, 20032 mins

* Wi-Fi at Pittsburgh's Heinz Hall and Benedum Center for the Performing Arts

Telerama Internet, a pioneering ISP in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, is providing wireless Internet access to the city’s cultural district in one of the first deals of its kind in the U.S.

The service provider is rolling out Wi-Fi service to a 14-square block area of downtown Pittsburgh that includes theaters, art galleries, restaurants and famous buildings such as Heinz Hall, which is home to the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, a non-profit organization that manages this section of the city, selected Telerama as the ISP to provide Wi-Fi service. Now business users and consumers can surf the Internet via laptops, PDAs and other wireless mobile devices at broadband speeds from the buildings in the cultural district.

The entire cultural district will be Wi-Fi capable within a month, says Doug Luce, founder and president of Telerama Internet.

Several U.S. cities – including New York, Long Beach, Calif., and Cleveland, Ohio – are making free wireless Internet access available in downtown areas. However, Pittsburgh is the first city to offer Wi-Fi service in its arts and entertainment district, Telerama officials say.

Telerama Internet is a 12-year-old ISP that offers Wi-Fi service at locations across Pittsburgh, including Carnegie Mellon University, The Pittsburgh Zoo and many restaurants. Telerama has 100 Wi-Fi hot spots in the Pittsburgh area and around 600 paying Wi-Fi customers. Telerama also offers T-3, T-1, DSL and dial-up services.

This is the latest Wi-Fi announcement for Telerama, which has been aggressively expanding its services this year. In August, Telerama announced a partnership with Covad Communications that involves offering its Wi-Fi service to cities outside of Pittsburgh. Two new cities will be announced in November, Telerama officials say.

Telerama is a privately held ISP with 30 employees. Company officials say they are internally financing the Wi-Fi rollout.