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News Now

CU System
Boulder Municipal Employees FCU offers free WiFi access
BOULDER, Colo. (4/3/08)--Boulder Municipal Employees FCU (BME FCU) is helping its members and community become more connected while also marketing itself to the community by offering free WiFi access in Boulder. “It’s pretty neat to be able to offer this service,” BME CEO Ann Babiak told News Now. The network is a “great tool to attract the younger generation,” Babiak said. “Our credit union membership is getting older. We need to attract younger members.” The network covers downtown Boulder and areas around the credit union’s main office. Anyone can use the network, and because of web direction technology, users are automatically routed to a BME FCU home page. There, they can find information about local events, entertainment, restaurants--and how to become a credit union member. The credit union plans to expand the network throughout the county and in nearby Lafayette by selling ads to small business that will appear on the home page. “We don’t want to place limits on (the network),” Jeff Recker, BME vice president of information technology, told News Now. “We want to serve members and give back to the community.” The idea for the network came about one year ago. “We’d just put in our fifth ATM,” Babiak said. “Jeff and I were talking about how strategically placed our ATMs are, and Jeff said we have great locations for WiFi and should utilize that,” she said. So far, the network has received “excellent” feedback. As of yesterday, BME had secured two other small businesses that wanted to place WiFi signals on their buildings. Babiak also encouraged credit unions to “think outside the box.” BME is one of the smallest credit unions in the state, and size shouldn’t limit creativity, she said. Recker noted that the network will continue to improve. “It’s definitely a work in progress,” he said.


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