Focus Area Two

Focus Area Two positions Norfolk as a regional leader in championing technology that encourages entrepreneurial and economic development while reducing the digital divide.

Norfolk's Institutional Network (I-Net)

Norfolk City Council approved $3.8 million in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget earmarked to design and begin implementing a new citywide fiber network (I-Net). The I-Net upgrade provides broadband capacity, reduces the city's dependence upon leased fiber and supports regional broadband connectivity initiatives. The regional cities and counties are working together to identify how best to connect each city's fiber infrastructure to leverage regional assets. This effort will support the following initiatives:

  • Enhance cybersecurity and risk mitigation
  • Further competition in the broadband marketplace
  • Provide expanded capacity
  • Provide fiber paths that are aligned with strategic growth areas
  • Reduce the digital divide
  • Regional public safety collaboration and disaster recovery

City of Norfolk, Old Dominion University & Norfolk State University Support Cybersecurity Research

The IT Department vigilantly addresses the ever-present danger posed by cybersecurity threats; our staff enthusiastically supports cybersecurity efforts whenever possible.

  • CIOs of ODU and NSU asked for assistance with their research, Norfolk's CIO agreed to help by sharing access to the city's fiber to facilitate a network connection that bridges the universities.
  • Allow for experiments that involve the migration of large data sets from one campus to another.
  • Furthers collaboration toward building a technologically connected region.
  • Facilitate the connection between Southside institutions and the e-Lite institutional ring on the Peninsula (members include the College of William and Mary and the Jefferson Lab).

Smart City Readiness Challenge

In 2017, the Smart Cities Council announced that the Commonwealth of Virginia was one of five national winners of its 2018 Readiness Challenge grants. Norfolk helped secure this grant by sending a representative from the IT Department to serve on the Governor's Broadband Working Group Subcommittee.


The IT Department worked to expand publicly accessible Wi-Fi. Currently, publicly accessible, city-supported Wi-Fi isNorfolk Wi-Fi available in the following locations:

  • City Hall
  • City Libraries
  • Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center
  • MacArthur Square (in partnership with Dominion Enterprises)
  • Nauticus
  • Norfolk Boxing Center at Harbor Park
  • Town Point Park

Looking for free Wi-Fi while visiting one of these locations? Open your browser and look for the ConnectNorfolk icon. Select the "One Click" button to instantly access the network.