Another First for Kansas City: Free Google Fiber For Low-Income Housing Residents

Some low-income housing residents in Kansas City now have some of the fastest Internet in the country — for free.

Kansas City is the first place Google Fiber is giving away its premier service, at no cost to users or the government. That’s because the city has become a primary laboratory in the effort to close the digital divide.

06. February 2016 by Carol Meyers
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New Linwood Area Computer Center Opens

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To better serve Kansas City’s urban core, Connecting for Good has established a new public access computer lab and learning center in the newly renovated Linwood Presbyterian complex, located near the intersection of Linwood Boulevard and Highway 71.

The center provides Internet access, training and resources to close the Digital Divide in an inner city community where as few as one in five households has a computer and in-home connection.

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The facility has a computer lab that has free public access. Regular classes are conducted on computer basics and use of the Internet and email. It is also a place where high school students can bring their school-issued laptops and tablets to do their homework and other constructive activities.

The center has a special emphasis on providing digital skills to help area residents improve their employment possibilities. Workforce development classes go beyond basic digital literacy training to include more advanced classes in such topics as online job search, resume development, and basic Microsoft Word and Excel.

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16. October 2015 by Tom Esselman
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Pemberton Park Project Update

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On September 4, we announced our effort to bring computers and Internet to the families at Pemberton Park. It is a facility in Kansas City, Missouri for low-income seniors who are raising their grandchildren. Over 70 school children live there with no computers and no way to get online.

Using wireless technology we are bringing in-home broadband Internet to the entire property. Additionally, we will bring PCs to every unit and hold classes to help the grandparents learn how to use them. We will equip them help the children in their care with their homework. Plus, they will be able to take advantage of all the benefits of being online themselves.

Thanks to these recent developments, this project is close to becoming a reality:

  • Kansas City wireless Internet provider, KCweb, has donated a full year of Internet access for the property.
  • We now have the dishes and wireless radios to link from the property to KCweb’s data center.
  • Another Kansas City nonprofit organization has made a commitment to create a child-centered technology center to replace the old computer lab.
  • A local trust has encouraged us to submit a grant proposal that will pay for PCs and software for every apartment at the complex.

We are now over two-thirds of the way to being fully funded!

Budget
Microwave dishes and radios to connect to WISP $ 523.90 $523.90
Short range point-to-point dishes (connecting buildings) 4 $87.00 $348.00
Wi-Fi Access Points 6 $84.00 $504.00
Computers for 36 Apartments 36 $105.00 $3,780.00
Computers for PC Lab 10 $150.00 $1500.00
Lift Rental $500.00 $500.00
Wi-Fi Access Point Cabling $250.00 $250.00
Mounting Hardware $350.00 $350.00
Labor & Services $3,000.00 $1,200.00
Project Total $10,755.00
Left to Raise $3,152.00

The final piece is funding needed to set up the Wi-Fi network that will bring free in-home Internet to every unit at Pemberton Park.

Please consider making a donation to get this project completed.

 

24. September 2015 by Tom Esselman
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