FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — The City Of Fort Worth is set to begin installation of free public Internet in some lower income areas of the city.
Officials said crews will begin installing equipment in the Rosemont area the week after Thanksgiving.READ MORE: Public Utility Commission Grills ERCOT Over Its Call For Texans To Conserve Energy This Week
They said residents in that area could begin connecting to the service as early as January.
“An estimated 60,000 Fort Worth residents lack home internet access, making it difficult to attend online classes, apply for jobs or tap into other social service resources,” officials said in a news release to CBS 11.
After the Rosemont area, other Fort Worth neighborhoods are slated to have the service installed. The city said is using $5 million in federal CARES Act funds to provide free public Wi-Fi access to five low-to moderate-income neighborhoods in all, including, Ash Crescent, Como, North Side and Stop Six.READ MORE: Feds Warn Against Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Cards
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Officials said the city identified the areas of need through its Neighborhood Improvement Program. Some criteria used were data such as household income, poverty and crime rates to concentrate improvements where they’re needed most. “The neighborhoods also have low internet subscription rates,” said Kevin Gunn, the city’s director of information technology.
Once online, the free service will be limited. Services like movie streaming and gaming will be blocked according to the city.
“It won’t be similar to purchased service,” said Gunn, “But it will allow children to do their online homework or let someone fill out an online job application from home, for example.”MORE NEWS: Tarrant County Issues Warning About Expedited Passport Scams