IBM Brings Nonprofits into Wi-Fi Age

In one of its largest Wi-Fi jobs yet, IBM has installed wireless systems at 600 Boys & Girls Clubs across the United States, providing Internet access for more than 200,000 children.

Financial terms of the contract, which included deployments at facilities in Chicago, New York and Oakland, as well as rural areas, were not disclosed.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM designed and built the systems, which include wireless access points from Linksys, the recently acquired subsidiary of Cisco Systems. The deal also includes 6,400 new IBM desktop PCs equipped with wireless cards.

Bill Regehr, senior vice president of IT for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, said Wi-Fi allows the clubs to provide fast, secure Internet access to 10 members at once. Previously some clubshad only one Internet port.

The technology also helped the the nonprofit organziation cut hardware, software and installation costs in half.

“IBM has been extremely helpful, integrating a solution that will help our children develop skills, learn and dream of using a set of skills they never thought possible,” Regehr said.

Norm Korey, vice president of wireless e-business forIBM Global Services, said the new equipment gives “these 6- to 18-year-olds technology that’s going to help them learn, increase their appetite for knowledge, and give them skills that one day will be essential in the job market.”

An IBM spokesman was not immediately available for further details about Big Blue’s business with nonprofits.

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