Rosedale Community WiFi Network Proposal

(click to enlarge map)

Connecting for Good is a nonprofit organization that exists to address the Digital Divide in the Kansas City area. Since Google’s announcement last year about their launch of an ultrahigh speed gigabit network, we’ve been at work creating a plan to build a model community network in the Rosedale neighborhood.  We are committed to making sure that all Kansas Citians, regardless of their incomes, will benefit from this opportunity. Our goal is to create a functioning community wi-fi network that will provide access to all residents for free or at a greatly reduced cost with bandwidth provided by Google Fiber. This project will serve as a pilot program which we eventually would like to see replicated to help low income residents in other neighborhoods.

Our next step is to obtain funding for a full engineering plan.  Once this is complete, we will be seeking support from the community, businesses and local governments to purchase the equipment and install it.  We want to create a working model that can be replicated throughout the areas of Kansas City that will be serviced by Google Fiber.  As noted in the recent Mayor’s Bi-state Team Playbook, the area will only benefit from this technology if all segments of the community can benefit – whether they can afford to pay for it or not.

Download the first draft of the plan.

Rosedale is a four square mile community in southeast Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas (KCK). Its borders are the Kansas River to the north, County Line Road/47th St. to the south, State Line Road to the East, and 18th St. Expressway to the West. The University of Kansas Medical Center is located within the community.

It is home to 14,000 residents and has one of the lowest per capita incomes of any area in Kansas City.  It also has a significant minority population and is home to many recent immigrants to the US.  The area also has a large population of children and teens.  And, while the high schools issue laptop PCs to students, many go home and have no Internet access because their families can’t afford to connect.

We have been working in a partnership with the Rosedale Development Association which was started in 1945 to help the community address crime, zoning, flooding, abandoned buildings, and  area clean up. It has since grown into a provider of social services, all the while maintaining its original role in the community.

If you have any questions or comments about our efforts, please contact us.

20. June 2012 by Tom Esselman
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