Google to fund free WiFi for community centers

In collaboration with Mayor Ed Murray’s Digital Equity Initiative, Google is offering grants that will provide free WiFi to Seattle community centers and affordable housing projects.

According to Mayor Ed Murray’s office, at least 15 percent of Seattle residents have no Internet service at home.

“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,” says 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 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 will also provide funding for WiFi at all 26 Seattle Parks and Recreation Community Centers including centers in Ballard and Loyal Heights. This grant will enable internet access for public meetings and events, classes, and digital civic engagement and learning programs.

As a member of the City of Seattle’s Digital Equity Action Committee, Google shares the committee’s vision of “Seattle as a city where technology’s opportunities equitably empower all residents and communities – especially those who are historically underserved or underrepresented.”

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