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Free high-speed Wi-Fi arrives in five Fort Worth neighborhoods where home internet access is lacking

The new Cisco-managed service in Ash Crescent, Northside, Rosemont, Stop Six and Lake Como is expected to help some 10,000 households gain internet access

FORT WORTH, Texas — Connecting communities and bridging the digital divide -- that's the focus of a new program in Fort Worth.

In a move meant to provide home internet access to the estimated 60,000 Fort Worth residents who lack it, the city on Tuesday launched a new partnership with the technology company Cisco to install high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity throughout five neighborhoods in which added accessibility is most needed. 

These neighborhoods, which are home to an estimated and combined 40,000 residents, include Ash Crescent, Northside, Rosemont, Stop Six and Lake Como.

Cisco says Fort Worth is the largest community in which it has yet undertaken a project such as this one. The city's technology department said it thinks this new initiative should help supply internet to around 10,000 households that didn't have it before.

The city used $5.5 million dollars from federal stimulus money to pay for the project -- and it's investment that Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker is an worthwhile one to the city's continued growth.

"These families need connectivity," Parker said. "[This issue was] brought to the forefront when the pandemic started because kids were home trying to Zoom for school and parents had to go home to Zoom. While a lot of us in government understood that issue was prevalent, now across the United States, it's talked about constantly: What are we going to do across as the United States to make this the third tier of necessity when it comes to public services? So I'm incredibly proud this type of project is being born here in Fort Worth."

The new Wi-Fi comes up as "CFW Neighborhood" when searched for on internet-accessible devices. It is open for anyone to use.

An extension of the "CFW-Guest" network that is free and currently available at libraries and community centers across Fort Worth, deployment on the neighborhood project is scheduled to be completed this fall. 

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