Google Bringing Free Wi-Fi to South Seattle

Google Bringing Free Wi-Fi to South Seattle

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced $344,000 in grants from Google to help bridge Seattle’s digital divide. The money will be used to bring free Wi-Fi to Seattle community centers and affordable housing projects.

At least 15 percent of Seattle residents have no Internet service at home and the numbers are even higher among Seattle’s lowest income residents and immigrant communities, says the City of Seattle’s Technology Access & Adoption study.

“Too many Seattle residents have no regular access to the Internet, and find themselves disconnected from the wealth of educational and community resources the Internet offers,” said Darcy Nothnagle, head of external affairs for the NW at Google. “These grants aim to help bring access to those who need it most.”

Through the grant, Seattle Housing Authority will provide internet to 800 very low income K-12 students and their families who live in SHA housing. The residents served by the project are among those whose studies show are the most technology disadvantaged and disconnected. The project will focus on providing connectivity to students in grades K-12 in the NewHolly, High Point, Rainier Vista, Lake City Court and Yesler Terrace communities.

Google is also providing funding for Wi-Fi at all 26 Seattle Parks and Recreation Community Centers, enabling access for public meetings and events, classes, and digital civic engagement and learning programs. The funding will also go towards the replacement of 31 outdated and obsolete computers at five RecTech Community Technology Labs – located in the Delridge, Rainier, Rainier Beach, South Park and Yesler Terrace community centers – which are used for digital literacy training and youth programs.

Google has more than 1,900 employees in Seattle and Kirkland and since 2011, has awarded more than $14.4 million to nonprofits and schools in Washington State.

Photo/City of Seattle

 

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