Wired for Wi-Fi: Partnership gives athletic fields access to live stream

Despite exhaustive efforts, Heidelberg Athletics has been unable to find a cost-effective way to provide reliable live video content for athletic fields in Peaceful and Hidden Valleys. All that is about to change.

Through a three-organization partnership – including Heidelberg, the city of Tiffin and Bascom Communications – free wi-fi will soon become available at Hedges-Boyer Park. More importantly for ‘Berg Athletics, internet service will extend to the baseball field and Frann’s Field at Peaceful Valley and the soccer complex at Hidden Valley.

“I am acutely aware how important this is for the Heidelberg community, families of our student-athletes and our opponents,” said ‘Berg Interim Athletic Director Jeff Garvin. “This collaboration is the perfect solution.”

For the partnership, Nate Brickner, general manager/CEO of Bascom Communications, worked with Heidelberg and the city Parks and Recreation staff to allow the city to provide internet service at the park. Bascom Communications also had been working with Heidelberg on a way to deliver Wi-Fi to the athletic fields located near the park. By extending the service from HU, the city was able to have service installed at the park for a significantly reduced cost.

“I am excited to expand on our current relationships with the city and Heidelberg on these new projects,” Nate said. “We are glad to be able to be a trusted local partner allowing us to help both of them meet their individual goals and visions through collaboration on projects such as these, providing a win/win scenario for everyone involved. This also gives more opportunities for those living and working locally through further expansion of fiber-optic facilities and free Community Connect Wi-Fi.”

Kurt Huenemann, associate vice president for Information Resources, is Heidelberg’s point person on the project. HU, he said, was pleased to pool resources so that internet access could be added to the fields and to the park.

“Collaborative projects such as this – the outcome of which represents significant cost savings to all parties – wouldn’t happen without this healthy spirit of cooperation,” Kurt said.

As a result, ‘Berg Athletics will soon have the long-awaited ability to live stream games from Peaceful and Hidden Valleys.

In 2020, Bascom Communication introduced Community Connect, a free Wi-Fi service in downtown Tiffin. This new service will be the same at Hedges-Boyer Park. Users will be able to bring up Wi-Fi settings on their mobile devices and connect to the Community Connect network. After watching an ad or a short video from a local advertiser, they’ll then gain free access for up to an hour of internet connectivity with no limits on renewal. Additionally, there are paid options for faster speeds and up to a month’s worth of service, with details to be found when connecting. The service has security measures in place to help ensure secure browsing. As Bascom Communications installs the new service at the park – the fiber optics of which will cut through some Heidelberg property – they also plan to upgrade the Community Connect network in downtown Tiffin.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz has been equally eager to extend the partnership, “Ever since our successful partnership with Bascom Communications in providing community Wi-Fi in downtown Tiffin, I’ve been wanting an opportunity to expand that into other areas of town” said Aaron, an ’08 Heidelberg graduate. “With the cooperation of Bascom Communications and Heidelberg University, we are now able to do just that and at a reduced cost to the taxpayer.”

The enhanced Wi-Fi service will make the park an even more attractive local destination. “I’m grateful for the partnership between Heidelberg University and Bascom Communications in making this project a reality,” said Tiffin Parks Director Bryce Kuhn. “Hedges-Boyer Park offers so many amenities, from the walking trail, to the pool and the new inclusive playground, and this is just another benefit we can now provide to our residents.”

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