City officials, community partners celebrate the launch of free Wi-Fi
Published on August 17, 2022
The City of Fort Worth, with partners Cisco and Presidio, officially launched free CFW Neighborhood Wi-Fi access in five neighborhoods: Ash Crescent, Lake Como, Northside, Rosemont, and, coming this fall, Stop Six. City officials and community partners gathered at Como Community Center on Tuesday to celebrate the launch and speak about the benefits of this great resource.
“Access to the internet provides a sense of connectiveness, and our community has that today,” Leon Reed, Lake Como Neighborhood Association second vice president, said. “What I’m really proud of is the benefits the children of our community will receive as they will have a real opportunity to advance their education by continuing to learn at home. And I’m also excited about the adults having the opportunity to go online and search and apply for jobs. I’m so proud of the vision of Fort Worth to provide all its citizens the opportunity to enjoy what the world has to offer.”
Many Fort Worth residents have lacked home internet access, making it difficult to attend online classes, apply for jobs or tap into other social service resources. The issue became especially apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, where lack of connectivity was impacting residents’ quality of life
In 2020, the City of Fort Worth kicked off an effort to bring free Wi-Fi to some of the neighborhoods most affected by a lack of connectivity. (See the neighborhoods on the map below.) The project began with $5 million in seed money from the CARES Act, and was completed with additional ARPA funds. Fort Worth ISD also joined the partnership to make the program possible by allowing the City to use school buildings to hold equipment that will originate the signal. CFW Neighborhood Wi-Fi complements FWISD’s effort to deliver connectivity to student’s districtwide.
“Just like power and water, internet is a basic necessity for our communities to be successful,” Mayor Mattie Parker said. “By implementing CFW Neighborhood Wi-Fi in these five neighborhoods, we are bridging a steep digital divide in parts of our City that need it the most, empowering more residents to complete job applications, do research for schoolwork, attend virtual doctor appointments, complete applications for services, and so much more. This is a huge step in the right direction, and the City is committed to executing on more long-term projects that will increase internet accessibility for more residents.”
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Photo: Celebrating the launch of CFW Neighborhood Wi-Fi this week were Gary DePreta, Cisco area vice president; Kevin Gunn, City of Fort Worth IT Solutions director; Mayor Mattie Parker; District 3 Councilmember Michael D. Crain; Cyndi Barrera, Presidio vice president; and Leon Reed, second vice president of the Como Neighborhood Association.
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