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'City of greater equity': Mayor expands free Wi-Fi in Russell neighborhood

The program is funded by a $400,000 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Government has expanded free outdoor Wi-Fi throughout the Russell neighborhood Mayor Greg Fischer said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.

The program is funded by a $400,000 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant awarded through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.

“Unfortunately, we know that far too many people, especially people in low-income neighborhoods, are being put further behind because they do not have reliable, fast internet,” Fischer said. “This is another step toward Louisville becoming a city of greater equity, where every person can reach their full potential.”

Spectrum has installed 24 Wi-Fi access points throughout the neighborhood including around Baxter Square Park in Beecher Terrace.

Manfred Reid Sr., chairman of the Louisville Metro Housing Authority’s Board of Directors, said this called for a partnership with many organizations, including people living in Russell.

"Community feedback is a vital component of the Vision Russell plan, which has a broad goal of transforming Russell into a neighborhood of opportunity and choice,” Reid said. “Russell residents were eager to express their desire to improve community connectivity, and their feedback made this effort possible. Not only does this technology link residents to resources, but it also creates an opportunity for them to achieve self-sufficiency and leads us all into a more connected Louisville."

Fischer has helped with digital equity in the past, including:

  • Donated over a thousand repaired devices and gave another 1,200 new devices.
  • High-speed internet providers, the federal government and the city partnered together to promote the Affordable Connectivity Program which has about 43,000 participants now.
  • The completion of phase one of the Louisville Fiber Internet Technology (LFIT) project in 2020.
  • Partnering with Microsoft for Future of Work, which promotes digital skills while focusing on underserved communities.

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