Forth Worth, TX Aims To Bridge Its Digital Divide

The City of Fort Worth, TX has partnered with Cisco to provide expanded, free Wi-Fi access in local neighborhoods which currently have limited connectivity. The expanded city network – called  CFW-Neighborhood – will provide free access to 5 underserved neighborhoods, with a total estimated population of 40,000 residents. Currently, over 60,000 Fort Worth residents lack access to home connectivity. 

The problems arising from a lack of connectivity came to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people had to work remotely and students attended virtual classes. The new wifi service is also expected to aid residents in accessing virtual medical appointments, conduct job searches, and apply for social assistance and government services.

“Just like power and water, the Internet is a basic necessity for our communities to be successful. By implementing CFW-Neighborhood Wi-Fi in these five neighborhoods, we are bridging a steep digital divide in parts of our City that need it the most, empowering more residents to complete job applications, do research for schoolwork, attend virtual doctor appointments, complete applications for services, and so much more,” said Mayor Mattie Parker. “This is a huge step in the right direction, and the City is committed to executing on more long-term projects that will increase Internet accessibility for more residents.”

This wifi initiative is an extension of the CFW-Guest Wi-Fi network that is currently free and available at libraries and community centers. It is part of an initial three-to-five-year solution to increase Wi-Fi access. 

“As business, community, and government leaders, it is incumbent upon us to work together to solve historic digital inequities,” said Gary DePreta, Area Vice President for State, Local Governments, and Education at Cisco. “Achieving ubiquitous Internet takes a village. The City of Fort Worth’s innovation in this area and their commitment to partnering with private sector companies like Cisco and Presidio, the local school district, and the neighborhood associations, showcases the art of the possible when we work together united under the common goal of leaving no one behind.”