OXFORD — Oxford Township’s historic downtown now offers free wireless Internet service to all those who visit the area, be it for business or pleasure.
Thanks to a public-private partnership between Oakland County and the Frankenmuth-based Air Advantage, Oxford is the very first downtown in the county to offer this exciting and valuable service as part of the rebooted Wireless Oakland initiative.
“Not only is this a huge honor, it’s a signal to the rest of the county — and southeastern Michigan — that things are happening in Oxford Township and when this economy really gets rolling again, this is where the growth is going to be,” said Jack Curtis, chairman of the township’s Economic Development Subcommittee. “The county wouldn’t have selected Oxford for this innovative program if our leadership in Pontiac didn’t believe we’re ultimately going to become a popular destination like Birmingham or Royal Oak.”
Free wireless internet service extends about a quarter-mile north and south of Burdick Street along Washington Street (M-24). Limited portions of east and west Burdick Street are also included.
“Basically, the heart of the township is covered,” Curtis said. “Now, we have traffic and information flowing along M-24, our main artery.”
EDSC Member Todd Bell believes the addition of this technological benefit shows just how diverse the township is.
“We offer something for everyone in one 36-square-mile package,” he said. “In addition providing to a rural atmosphere that includes spacious lots, horse farms and natural beauty roads, the township also has modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi in a downtown that affords a semi-urban feel with its popular restaurants, unique shopping opportunities and entertainment that ranges from movies to Salsa dancing.”
Access to free wireless Internet will allow everyone from business professionals to developers to government officials to conduct luncheons, meetings and presentations at downtown eateries, yet still remain in close touch with their respective offices via their wireless devices and laptops.
“Just because you’re in northern Oakland County doesn’t automatically mean you’re out of touch with the rest of the world. This isn’t the ‘boonies’ anymore,” noted EDSC Member Mike Spisz. “Yes, we’re rural. Yes, we’re historical. Yes, we’re small town. But we’ve also got a 21st-century edge when it comes to technology, growth and economic development. We’re a player in the marketplace.”
Oxford Township is home to 20,526 residents (including Oxford Village) and experienced the third highest population growth (28.2 percent) from 2000 to 2010 in Oakland County based on the 2010 U.S. Census. For two straight years, the village was recognized by a University of Michigan-Dearborn study as one of the top communities in the state when it comes to fostering economic development and entrepreneurial growth.
Oxford is served by a full-time, professional fire department, which currently holds the record for the fastest cardiac care time in the county.
Five of Oxford’s public schools are currently candidates to become International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools, while the high school was authorized to administer the IB Diploma Program. Oxford Elementary was recently authorized as an IB school as well.