AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — More progress is being made to provide free Wi-Fi for everyone in Amarillo.
The Amarillo City Council got an update on the Amarillo Connected broadband project, Tuesday.
The Amarillo Connected project is a partnership between the City of Amarillo, Amarillo College, and Amarillo ISD to bring better internet to citizens of Amarillo.
The city said the impact of this project will be that no one in the city will be without access to education, healthcare, or essential services.
“Connectivity is part of the problem and we want to try and solve that problem both for our students, for that fifth grader that is trying to turn their math homework in, but also for every business owner who wants to recruit and keep workers here in the city of Amarillo,” said Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson.
The Chief Information Officer for the City of Amarillo, Rich Gangon said they want to work with the schools to offer shared access to infrastructure.
“Everything we do, whether as a city, school district or a county is all on taxpayer money. It only makes sense that we would work together to be efficient for our taxpayers,” said Gangon.
The city plans to offer “4G LTE services,” instead of 5G services, due to its speed and health concerns raised by citizens.
It is important to note that the World Health Organization said research has shown no adverse health effects from exposure to wireless technologies.
“If you have concerns about 5G, this would be 4G based and the City of Amarillo and our partners would control this private LTE network, just like what you have on your phone that connects you to the internet and we would have that which cover the entire city limits for basic needs,” said Nelson.
Gangon said the people who live on the northeast side of Amarillo have the least access to the internet.
The next step for the Connected Amarillo team is a design meeting in a few weeks to finalize the design, capital, and operating costs, and then present the project once again to the Amarillo City Council.
During the city council meeting, it was also announced that the Fluor Corporation had agreed to make a donation toward that project. Fluor is a Texas company. They have not disclosed how much that donation was for.
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