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NoogaNet is Chattanooga’s free public Wi-Fi network

The city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, started a competition in September to name its free public Wi-Fi network, and the results are in: With nearly half of the vote, “NoogaNet” is the winner, beating four other citizen-submitted names.

Chattanooga, a city of about 173,366 residents, put out a call for Wi-Fi network name submissions and received 559 names to choose from. A nine-member committee narrowed down the list to five finalists, which were put up for a three-week voting period.

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NoogaNet received 48 percent of the 1,568 votes, followed by ChattaFi (25 percent), Chattanooga Public WiFi (11 percent), Chattanooga Connect (8 percent) and ChattaWifi (7 percent).

“By providing free, secure and ubiquitous Wi-Fi in the public buildings and spaces the City of Chattanooga owns and operates, we will take one more step forward in addressing digital equity in our community,” said Mayor Andy Berke in a statement.

There aren’t many details available about the speed, cost and security of the public Wi-Fi coming to Chattanooga, which boasts the nickname “Gig City” because of its fast and affordable Internet speeds. “The Gig,” the city’s taxpayer-owned fiber-optic network, has been credited with bringing new life to the city.

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The first phase of Chattanooga’s initiative is to rewiring city-owned public buildings, including 18 youth and family development centers and city hall, to make them fit for secure Wi-Fi access. The next phase will be focused on bringing free Wi-Fi to public spaces.

Chattanooga’s NoogaNet has a name that rivals Boston’s free public Wi-Fi network, Wicked Free Wi-Fi. For its part, New York City is finally making progress on plans to convert payphone kiosks into gigabit Wi-Fi stations offering Internet connections and calls for free.