The City of Pasadena’s efforts to expand free public Wi-Fi service to all 33 City parks and park facilities received a $1.5 million boost from a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant approved by U.S. Congress last week.
Sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Judy Chu at the request of the City, the funds will be used to expand broadband access into each of the City’s neighborhood parks. The public Wi-Fi service will improve access to reliable high-speed broadband service and support all members of the community to work, study and stay connected. Several parks are expected to be online within 12 months of receiving the grant funds. The funds will also improve broadband service at a critical City facility that supports police, fire, transit, and water delivery services.
“Free public Wi-Fi in City parks and park facilities provides all residents, students and visitors reliable access to broadband, supports digital learning, and offers safe space for all to work, study, communicate, and participate in the digital economy. We are proud and appreciative that Senator Feinstein and Congresswoman Chu would prioritize this important project as part of their requests for funding in the fiscal year 2022 federal budget,” says Mayor Victor M. Gordo.
Over the past six years, the City of Pasadena has deployed free public Wi-Fi to 15 of 33 City parks and park facilities. Usage metrics show over 1,000 unique connections accessing this service daily and over 40,000 connections annually—a 100% increase since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Free public Wi-Fi service is already available at all Pasadena public libraries and community centers.
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