FWISD, city collaborate on plan for reliable internet access

Published on June 01, 2021

a WiFi tower

Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said many more students and families will have strong internet connectivity by the first day of the new school year, Aug. 16.

Towers will be erected over the summer to serve the Morningside, Eastern Hills, Rosemont and Stop Six school neighborhoods. This is Phase One of the district’s plan to make sure all students have reliable internet access. The first phase addresses 25% of families most in need.

Last month, Fort Worth ISD trustees approved the purchase of the final pieces of equipment for the job.

Phase Two, scheduled to begin in December, will address the remaining 75% of targeted households in ZIP codes 76102, 76103, 76104, 76105, 76115, 76119 and 76164.

In November, voters approved the Tax Ratification Election called by the school district. That quickly provided funds for the purchase of 24,000 laptops and 21,000 hotspots and allowed FWISD to develop a Wi-Fi plan that complements one already in the works by the City of Fort Worth.

This complement will result in a system across Fort Worth that is both “broad and deep,” Scribner said.

“The district has been working with the city’s experts to enhance our mutual efforts for a permanent Wi-Fi solution, and we are very grateful for that collaboration. And, while the city’s plan is very broad,” Scribner said, “our plan focuses on targeted households in need of connectivity.”

About the city’s Wi-Fi plan

The City of Fort Worth is extending its public Wi-Fi signal into five neighborhoods where most residents lack home internet access: Ash Crescent, Como, North Side, Rosemont and Stop Six neighborhoods.

The city identified the areas through its Neighborhood Improvement Program, which relies on data such as household income and education levels to target improvements where they’re needed most. The neighborhoods also have low internet subscription rates.

Over the summer months, city crews and contractors will be installing equipment on utility poles that extends the Wi-Fi signal from city buildings such as community centers and local schools into nearby neighborhoods. Residents may be able to use the internet at home for free by accessing the signal on their smart phones, laptops or tablets.

City Wi-Fi access is made possible by $5 million in federal CARES Act funds.

View more information about city public Wi-Fi, including a list of frequently asked questions and maps showing estimated Wi-Fi service boundaries. 

 

 

Photo: Towers will be erected over the summer to serve the Morningside, Eastern Hills, Rosemon, and Stop Six school neighborhoods.