Free Wi-Fi coming to part of Russell neighborhood

Published: Sep. 8, 2015 at 3:11 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2015 at 3:11 PM EDT
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Mayor Greg Fischer spoke about the installation of Wi-Fi in the Russell neighborhood. (Source:...
Mayor Greg Fischer spoke about the installation of Wi-Fi in the Russell neighborhood. (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville's Russell neighborhood is about to get connected.

Phase 1 of the West Louisville Neighborhood Wi-Fi Project was launched on Tuesday by Mayor Greg Fischer. Three spots in the Russell neighborhood will be provided with free interest as part of Phase 1. Eventually, the program will expand into more of west Louisville.

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"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 requires the installation of access points in key locations to ultimately create a network. Phase 1 costs $11,000 and will be 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. The 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 at 2910 West Jefferson Street, 2927 West Market Street (this location is bridged from America's Finest Filters), and Kentucky Recovery Resource Center at 2501 West Market Street. Each Point of Presence emits a radius of about 200 feet of coverage.

These three hot spots are 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. 
Phase 2 of the project will be completed within a few weeks. It will provide free Wi-Fi to the area along Market Street, from 2927 West Market Street and 2501 West Market Street.

"For Louisville to successfully transition to a high-tech and advanced manufacturing economy, everyone 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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