In the spring of 2014, the Council Bluffs Community School District approved a strategic plan that extended 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 develop free community Wi-Fi for the District’s students. A committee known as the Council Bluffs Area Wi-Fi Consortium assembled, and the first phase of BLink was complete in 2015.
“Our school district is fortunate to be part of an innovative, can-do community that collaborates to meet community needs,” Superintendent Dr. Vickie Murillo said. “Through the partnerships that made BLink possible, Council Bluffs students and families benefit every day from the free Wi-Fi network as they use their school-provided Chromebooks to access their school work at home. When the pandemic hit, this group answered the call to rapidly expand the network to more areas of our school community to help ensure connectivity for students.”
BLink 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, Echo Group, Emspace, Mid-American Energy, Miller Electric, Ruckus Wireless, SmartWAVE Technologies, UNITE Private Networks, Bluffs Electric, City of Carter Lake and OPPD.