Mobile Future

Free wireless broadband comes to Houston

Thanks to Technology for All, 4,000 people in a low-income, inner city neighborhood in Houston have access to the internet in their homes for the first time. Whether the service was available is moot, because many residents of this neighborhood simply couldn’t afford the service. Thankfully, Technology for All in partnership with Rice University stepped in to build a state-of-the-art wireless Internet network that is free for residents of the Pecan Park neighborhood.

Based on the success of this program in this southeast Houston neighborhood, Technology for All plans to roll out additional wireless networks to 10 other communities throughout Houston. Ultimately 500,000 low-income residents will have access to free internet service.

Through a series of antennas, residents have access to internet service that can reach greater than 1 Mbps. The goal is to stimulate the economy in these areas, as well as to build a research test bed for Rice University students to use in writing their master thesis.

Check out the story on the local TV station’s web site to hear more about this new wireless network.

Not only can this wireless network create economic opportunities, but it can also help young students in these neighborhoods do better in school so that they can improve their economic opportunities later in life.

Having access to technology and the wealth of information available online will help these young students succeed in school. Inner city kids deserve to have the same opportunities that kids in affluent suburbs have.

Of course, the families need computers to even use the internet service and luckily Technology for All has “A Mouse in Every House” program that it runs in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to provide computers to low-income residents.

As a community, we must never lose sight of the fact that it is through the accessing of information and ultimately enhancing educational opportunity that is the key for our young people to reach their fullest potential.