South Side

Frequently Asked Questions

South Side
Tap or click on the questions below to see the answers
Who is eligible to participate?

To participate, you must live on the South Side within half a mile of the Reeb Avenue Center at 280 Reeb Avenue. The boundaries are Southwood Ave. to the north, Hosack St. to the south, High St. to the west, and Parsons Ave. to the east.

Households that rely on WiFi to work remotely, access telehealth, pay bills online, stream movies, or participate in distance or hybrid learning can participate in this program. We have budgeted for enough devices to support more than every family enrolled in the City of Columbus Schools (CCS) within the geographic footprint. So, if you have doctor appointments you can do online or have someone in your household who is completing a GED, college coursework, workforce training program, or participating in remote work in any way, we encourage you to try this service. No proof of income is required.

To enroll, please complete the participation form on the homepage to see if you qualify.

How do I participate?

First, fill out the participation form for your neighborhood to express your interest, or give us a call at 614-321-1295, and we’ll determine if you qualify based on your address. If you are eligible, our team of trained ambassadors will be in touch to discuss how to install your Cbus WiFi service. During the free trial period, which ends in December 2022, you will be asked to complete two surveys so that we can understand what you liked and didn’t like about the service and how well it served your family’s needs. As a thank you, all participants will be offered a $50 Visa gift card.

How much does it cost?

For the trial period, there is no cost to you. In-home WiFi will be completely free through the end of 2022 once activated. You are not signing up for service beyond the trial period and can stop using Cbus WiFi at any time without a penalty. After the trial period, continuing with this service will be no more than $20 per month.

How long will the service last?

In-home WiFi will be completely free through the end of 2022 to the households participating in the trial period – you are not committed to a contract. After the trial period, continuing with this service will be no more than $20 per month. After the pilot, if you decide not to continue with the service, we can help you transition to a service that suits your needs.

What if I have internet access?

You can continue your current internet service through an existing provider or hot spot and participate in this program. You are encouraged to participate in this trial program to decide what works for you and how you can best save money. The free period of this trial ends in December 2022. 

You will begin receiving regular notifications three months before the end of the trial with information about how to extend or transition service. If residents in your neighborhood adopt the free trial, the service will likely be extended for a small monthly fee of no more than $20 per month with the same speed. There will be no cancellation fee if you choose not to opt into the long-term paid service option. 

How fast will the WiFi service be?

The service will be at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 25 Mbps upload—put another way, fast enough to stream movies, play video games, or conduct two video calls at once. You can voluntarily measure upload and download speeds to help understand how vital your signal and connection are at this link.

Is the web content restricted or monitored?

No. Your internet usage will not be monitored, filtered, or restricted in any way. The internet service is offered by a private sector company called Motorola, and the City of Columbus will not have any insight into your specific activities online.

However, parents are welcome to apply parental controls.

What is pilot testing?

A pilot project is an activity planned as a test or trial; Cbus WiFi is a pilot to test new technologies before deciding which technology could scale to provide affordable WiFi services across Columbus.

The City of Columbus has fiber infrastructure that we believe can help make internet access more accessible in our community. We don’t yet know which technology will best serve the needs of our residents, so we are testing the performance of each and how feasible it is to scale them. We’ve identified two technologies that we believe could work in our community:

  1. A hybrid fiber-wireless provider for fixed home connections
  2. A last-mile wireless solution built on a new approach called CBRS-LTE (Citizen Broadband Radio Service). The FCC approved the spectrum associated with this technology in January of 2020.

We don’t yet know which technology will best serve the needs of our residents, so we are testing them to better understand performance of each, and how feasible it is to scale them. The two neighborhoods in the pilot will each test one technology. We’ll test WiFi speeds and consider participant feedback as we seek to understand a path forward.

Columbus Metropolitan Library logo
The Columbus Foundation
Reeb Avenue Center logo
NCUS logo
PACT logo

Columbus City Schools