Hey West End! Free Wi-fi from the City

Ted SmithTed Smith

Mayor Announces Free Wi-fi for Part of West Louisville Neighborhood

LOUISVILLE (September 8, 2015) – Standing near the site of the future Food Port, Mayor Greg Fischer today launched Phase 1 of the West Louisville Neighborhood Wi-Fi Project, which will initially provide free internet to three spots in the Russell neighborhood, and grow to cover more of West Louisville.

“In today’s world, access to reliable internet service is critical for businesses, families, our workforce and our students,” Fischer said. “The free Wi-Fi for this neighborhood means that anyone in these hotpots – businesses, residents and visitors – will be able to easily get online, for free, just as they do today in libraries and community centers. Additionally, a range of city services can be introduced here, first, with this new kind of infrastructure, including smarter recycling and new concepts for fire safety.”

The West Louisville Wi-Fi project entails installing access points in key locations to ultimately create a network, and the project is being deployed in phases. Phase 1 cost is $11,000 and was funded by grants that support Louisville Metro Government’s Innovation Team.

Internet service has been purchased by Louisville Metro Government to cover a 12-month period – through August 2016. This entailed using AT&T service and a pilot agreement for neighborhood access. Internet service and “Points of Presence” were installed at three locations:

      • America’s Finest Filters, 2910 West Jefferson Street
      • 2927 West Market Street – this location is bridged from American’s Finest Filters
      • Kentucky Recovery Resource Center, 2501 West Market Street

Each Point of Presence emits a radius of about 200 feet of coverage.

Phase 2, to be completed within a few weeks, will provide free Wi-Fi to the area along Market Street, from 2927 West Market Street and 2501 West Market Street.

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Ted Smith

“This network was inspired by a volunteer team of citizens who know that a community Wi-Fi network will provide a learning and discovery testbed in Louisville for new network technologies,” said Ted Smith, chief of Civic Innovation for Louisville Metro Government. Our biggest learning was that this network can only be as fast as the fiber in the ground, so we will continue to work on that front as well.”

These three hot spots are very near the site of the future West Louisville FoodPort, which will locate food-related businesses in one place. Food from local farmers can be purchased and residents from the neighborhood can be hired for jobs at the site, potentially transforming this West Louisville neighborhood.

Mayor Fischer noted that the city has been working since Day One to increase both access to the Internet, as well as the speed of that access. In order to address issues of speed, Louisville Metro Government awarded fiber franchises tothree vendors and changed local franchise rules and bonding requirements.

“For Louisville to successfully transition to a high-tech and advanced manufacturing economy, every one in every neighborhood must have access to the Internet,” said Fischer. “Today’s announcement is one step toward getting our entire city wired into the 21st Century economy.”

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