The City of Wichita is testing a program which provides FREE wireless internet access to homes in the Wichita area.
The pilot program is being paid for by T-Mobile and is open to any Wichita resident age 18 or older with ID and proof of address.
According to a press release issued by the City, approximately one-quarter of Wichita homes do not have access to the internet. This experimental pilot program is intended to lessen the digital divide in neighborhoods and provide access to information and opportunity for all residents in the community.
Residents can check out T-Mobile Coolpad Surf hotspots for up to two weeks at a time, free of charge. The hotspots will provide a 600 MHz LTE cellular connection and can accommodate up to 15 devices at a time. They have a battery capable of over five hours of continues use.
The hotspots will have Child Internet Privacy Act filtering enabled on them to prevent access to adult content, gambling, and violence.
The free internet hotspots can be checked out at the Atwater and Colvin Neighborhood Resource Centers.
Atwater Neighborhood Resource Center, 2755 E 19th St. N.
Colvin Neighborhood Resource Center, 2820 S. Roosevelt St.
Through a library branch study, demographic data showed that the Atwater and Colvin Neighborhood Resource Centers were best suited for the pilot project where cost is often a barrier to internet access at home.
Twenty hotspots will be available at the two participating Neighborhood Resource Center locations to begin with.
The city will look at data from the eight-week pilot program to determine whether the program will continue and then they’ll have figure out how to pay for it on a permanent basis. The funding for the pilot program is being provided by T-Mobile.