Prototypes for low-cost cell phone charging stations, WiFi hotspots built in Louisville

Prototypes for low-cost cell phone charging stations, WiFi hotspots built in Louisville
The Engineering Week Hackathon was held on Feb. 2, 2020 in Louisville. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – In Louisville's Russell neighborhood almost 80 percent of households don't have a home internet subscription. Instead, unconnected households rely on data-capped cell phone plans to connect to the internet or have no access at all.

To help fix that problem, engineers from GE Appliances and FirstBuild, along with representatives from Louisville Metro Government, worked together Wednesday to find new technology for public phone charging and WiFi hotspot stations.

The event was referred to as the Engineering Week Hackathon, aimed to solve the community’s low internet access problem by creating prototypes the public can use.

“They've got really interesting solutions that we're going to go through and then really take back to the community and find out what they like,” Larry Portaro, the FirstBuild executive director, said. “Then, [we will] get iterations and finally create one they'd really like to see deployed.”

The six teams at the Hackathon consisted of more than 40 people.

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