TUSCALOOSA WORKING ON FREE WIRELESS INTERNET FOR WEST END

Tuscaloosa city leaders are vying to bring free internet access to the city’s West End.

If approved, nearly 8,500 residents would have access to a free wireless internet connection thanks to the city’s fiber optic network. Building out the network would cost about $70,000, and city leaders said they plan on paying for it with community development block grant funds.

Tuscaloosa’s Information Technology Director Chuck Crocker said most residents in that area have low to moderate incomes, and the goal is bridging the opportunity gap for children living in the area.

“We’re hoping that it works out and provides another option for people to access the internet, kids particularly,” he said. “If it works well, we’d love to see it expanded.”

Crocker said the goal is to have the project up and running by the time school starts this fall.

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