Computer Refurbishment Program and Wireless Broadband Access for Pleasant City and Coleman Park Neighborhoods of West Palm Beach
The Palm Beach Broadband Coalition and District 7 County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor are pleased to announce the expansion of the “Digital Inclusion” project in the West Palm Beach neighborhood communities of Coleman Park and Pleasant City. More than 200 families with school-age children are participating in the program. Additionally, this project has created a two-square mile public WiFi zone where residents and visitors can access the Internet free of charge.
This initiative is sponsored by the Palm Beach Broadband Coalition comprised of Palm Beach County government, the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach State College, the South Florida Water Management District and the Palm Beach County Education Commission. Commissioner Steve Abrams serves as Chair of the Coalition. This collaboration of agencies has partnered with the City of West Palm Beach, the Urban League of Palm Beach County, the Town of Palm Beach United Way, and the Quantum Foundation, to provide the funding, assets, staff expertise, and other resources necessary to make this project a success in promoting computer literacy in underserved communities.
Modeled after Google's wireless project in Mountain View, California, residents are able to access the Internet by connecting to wireless access points mounted throughout the neighborhoods. The network, managed by Palm Beach County, is a multi-use wireless network, providing secure access for government and public safety agencies, as well as open public access to the Internet. The School District, with assistance from the Quantum Foundation, established a computer refurbishment program at Pleasant City Middle School that supplies eligible neighborhood families with computers, educational software, and Internet training.
Instructions for accessing the Internet and details on how to obtain a WiFi modem are available at www.palmbeachbroadband.org. Commissioner Priscilla Taylor noted, “The benefits of this project will be far reaching in improving the quality of life of the families involved and serving as a catalyst for economic development. This effort could become the model for broadband access projects within other communities in Palm Beach County.”
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