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Don’t expect Wi-Fi at The Shoe on Saturday

Ohio Stadium will host the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday evening. Fans in attendance will not have access to a Wi-Fi network. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

With the first home game of the football season just days away, Ohio Stadium will soon be filled with more than 100,000 people eagerly anticipating kickoff. They will be texting, tweeting and checking scores — but all without Wi-Fi.

Ohio State had initially planned on having Wi-Fi at both the football stadium and the Schottenstein Center by now. The Board of Trustees have been trying to get internet service in the ‘Shoe to “improve the fan experience” since 2015.

However, the most recent plan was put on hold, according to university spokesman Ben Johnson. He said instead of the Wi-Fi package being implemented in only the two athletic venues, the university is planning a comprehensive upgrade to the Wi-Fi across campus.

There is no timeline as to when the new Wi-Fi plan will be finalized and implemented, Johnson said.

But for the ‘Shoe, it has been a long time coming.

With Wi-Fi upgrades across campus now pending, the Board tabled another proposal to add Wi-Fi. In August, the Board decided to table the proposed $9.5 million Wi-FI installation to the ‘Shoe and the Schott scheduled to take place in 2018. It instead decided to tie it into the campus-wide Wi-Fi overhaul.

The upgrade would supplement Ohio State’s existing wireless network.

In 2012, Ohio State signed a contract with Verizon Wireless to enhance cellular service across campus and thought Verizon would be installing Wi-Fi at the ‘Shoe as part of the deal, according to Tom Knox of Columbus Business First. But the two sides couldn’t agree on who would foot the bill for the installation, and are currently locked in a legal battle over the matter.

In the meantime, don’t expect Wi-Fi or much cellular service, as nearby wireless networks often get overloaded with the abundance of people in a concentrated area.

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