Designing a Citywide WiFi Strategy to Close the Digital Divide

In San Jose, approximately 40,000 households (a total of 95,000 people) lack access to a reliable internet connection. This digital divide presents significant hurdles for underserved communities, preventing them from accessing critical resources in education, career development, and healthcare. To offer low-cost or free wifi access to residents and business owners in these communities, the city created the San Jose Civic Innovation project, which is piloting three new approaches that can inform a citywide wifi strategy.

FUSE executive fellow Kala Fleming will analyze data from the pilot programs, explore different technology options, assess varying business models to help develop a strategy for sustainable and cost-effective wireless solutions, and identify the resources to move forward with the plan. San Jose hopes to close its digital divide and chart a course for how telecom and smart city services can be delivered in urban communities.

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