The City of Fort Worth, in collaboration with technology company Cisco and digital services and solutions provider Presidio, is launching free CFW Neighborhood Wi-Fi access to five neighborhoods: Ash Crescent, Lake Como, Northside, Rosemont, and, coming this fall, Stop Six. City officials and community partners will gather to celebrate the launch at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Como Community Center, 4660 Horne St. in Fort Worth.
Many Fort Worth residents lack home internet access, making it difficult to attend online classes, apply for jobs or tap into other social service resources. That digital divide is impacting residents’ quality of life, and that issue became especially apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, the City of Fort Worth kicked off an effort to bring free Wi-Fi to some of the neighborhoods most deeply affected by a lack of connectivity. This began with $5 million in seed money from the CARES Act, and was completed with additional ARPA funds.
Fort Worth ISD also joined the partnership to make the program possible by allowing the City to use school buildings to hold equipment that will originate the signal. CFW Neighborhood Wi-Fi complements FWISD’s effort to deliver connectivity to students districtwide.
To select neighborhoods for CFW Neighborhood Wi-Fi, the City used areas identified in the Neighborhood Improvement Program, which relies on data such as household income, poverty and crime rates to concentrate improvements where they’re needed most. All five neighborhoods also have low internet subscription rates. Home internet subscription rate is now included as a metric of the Neighborhood Improvement Program and will be considered in selection of neighborhoods for future public investment.