The city said Wednesday it will use a $950,000 grant from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology to provide wireless service to people in three areas of the city: Historic Westside, the Corridor of Hope and the Medical District.
While the focus is on improving internet access for those seeking education, employment and job training, the city underscored that the effort will particularly benefit students so that they can connect to Clark County School District services from home without charge.
“By recent estimates, 31.3 percent of households in Las Vegas have no fixed internet access,” the city said in a statement. “The network will allow students access to heightened internet via cellular phones, tablets and mobile notebooks.”
The planned build-out represents only the first phase of the city’s Advanced Connectivity for Community and Economic Development program. The long-term goal is to launch the network across the city “to provide everyone an opportunity to digitally access educational opportunities,” the city said.
Tammy Malich, the director of the city’s Department of Youth Development and Social Innovation, said the network will enhance the city’s goals around equity, data and innovation.
“Introducing (the program) will allow for new opportunities for educational attainment in the city’s lowest-income communities,” Malich said in a statement. “We are dedicated to making the city of Las Vegas a place where everyone has an opportunity to succeed.”
To create the network, the city will add equipment to streetlight poles, including antennas, microwave radios and fiber switches. Testing is expected to begin next week and the project, initially serving only the three areas of Las Vegas, is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year, according to a project timeline.
Meanwhile, the school district remains operating in distance learning. A plan to transition to some in-person instruction next semester is expected to be discussed by School Board trustees this month.
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