FREE INTERNET ACCESS IS COMING TO WEST TUSCALOOSA
Tuesday, The Tuscaloosa City Council Community Development Committee Members approved bringing free internet service to 8,415 low to moderate income residents in West Tuscaloosa.
Residents will be able to access public wifi, to use less of their data plans.
“It requires network connectivity back to the City’s network. The wifi units will be put out there on the light poles or whatever infrastructure to mount them to. It will allow us to put about 5 or 6 access points up” says Chuck Crocker, Director of Information Technology, with the City Of Tuscaloosa.
The free internet hot spots will be in the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between 15th Street and 22nd Street.
Westlawn Middle School and Martin Luther King Elementary School already sit in the area.
“The goal is to support kids academically because studies have found the lack of resources, the lack of access of technology is one of the factors in academic success” says Margaret Jones, Community Development Program Manager, with the City Of Tuscaloosa.
Jones says the City chose the area because it qualified for a Community Development Block Grant.
It will cost just over $80,000.
“This project is essentially going to provide support. Its not going to be a replacement for your Monthly subscription to internet service provider. It will provide the type of supports we think will help children or persons looking for jobs or things like that access when they need it” says Jones.
District 2, Tuscaloosa City Councilwoman Raevan Howard wants more.
“This is one of the main concerns that I campaigned bout when I was running is that I would advocate for the free wifi connection. So, I’m happy that we’re getting it started because it has to start somewhere. I’m definitely still pushing it and keeping it on the table so we can take it further” says Howard.
The project will begin next Week and should be in full service in March.