The city of Little Rock announced this afternoon the availability of free WiFi in parks and community centers to help people working and schooling during the pandemic.

Noted: The live Facebook video kicked out shortly after the news conference began. Just like mine at home does now and then.

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The news release:

 

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Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. and Chief Education Officer, Dr. Jay Barth, announced the City’s public free broadband project aimed at providing more digital equity and bridging the digital divide at a time when a global pandemic requires more online learning and teleworking. Click to wifi.lrprsurvey.org<http://wifi.lrprsurvey.org/> to see a map containing the locations of each Wi-Fi enabled site.

“Access to broadband is not just a rural issue in our state, but it is also an urban issue, one worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic” Mayor Scott said. “While we’ve provided a short-term solution, we’ll continue the work to ensure all Little Rock residents-no matter their incomes-have access to a service that is as fundamental as water or electricity to life in the 21st century. These long-term solutions will promote educational opportunity, economic empowerment, and quality of live and place across our community.”

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The parks included in the project are:

*      War Memorial

*      Morehart

*      Wakefield

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*      Fletcher

*      Boyle

*      Hindman

*      and Murray

Within these parks are a total of 16 pavilions equipped with broadband internet.

Five Community Centers have also been equipped with Wi-Fi access and will create options for future virtual learning opportunities and enhanced workshops and community meetings over time. All south of I-630, these are:

*      Centre at University Park

*      Dunbar Community Center

*      Stephens Community Center

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*      Southwest Community Center

*      and West Central Community Center

“The pavilions and community centers where these amenities have been added are targeted at those areas of Little Rock where residents are disproportionately likely to not have access to broadband in their homes, although we also included War Memorial Park and the popular Murray Park to expand options,” Dr. Barth said. Wi-Fi is currently available in six of the parks and will come online soon at Murray Park which has several pavilions and still requires more work, Barth said.