BLink is a free and open Wi-Fi network that boosts connectivity in many Council Bluffs neighborhoods, all of the Council Bluffs Community School District buildings, and many outdoor spaces such as Gale Wickersham Athletic Complex, CB Rec Complex, and Bayliss Park. BLink is available for students, residents, and visitors.
The City of Council Bluffs Community had the idea of providing free Wi-Fi when Google donated Chromebooks to the Council Bluffs Community School District as part of a one-to-one initiative, one laptop per student. It became apparent that some students couldn’t use the laptops at home because they didn’t have internet access, limiting their success in school.
In the spring of 2014, The Council Bluffs Community School District approved a plan that included a strategy to expand its Wi-Fi network for students into the community. The City of Council Bluffs and the Council Bluffs Community School District formed a 28-E organization to expand free community Wi-Fi and expanded network for the District’s students. A committee known as the Council Bluffs Area Wi-Fi Consortium assembled announced the first two phases and began fundraising. The first phase was complete in 2015.
BLink funding continues to be a community-wide effort. No tax dollars have been used. While the project is led by the City of Council Bluffs and Council Bluffs Community School District, it is supported by many community partners who have contributed funds, time, materials, labor, or expertise. BLink Partners include Google, Iowa West Foundation, Charles E. Lakin Foundation, CB Area Chamber of Commerce, Iowa Western Television, Echo Group, Emspace, Mid-American Energy, Miller Electric, Ruckus Wireless, SmartWAVE Technologies, UNITE Private Networks, Bluffs Electric, City of Carter Lake, OPPD.