City of Providence Expands Free Internet Access to 11 City Parks
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, Providence City Council President John J. Igliozzi (Ward 7) and Providence Parks Department Superintendent Wendy Nilsson today launched the WiFi in the Parks Program, expanding free, high-quality internet access to eleven municipal parks citywide using Providence American Rescue Plan Act funding.
“Access to the internet can be critical for succeeding in school, finding employment opportunities and taking care of day-to-day tasks in our lives,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “Expanding public WiFi locations helps to promote equitable access to the internet for Providence residents and visitors, and I appreciate the partnership of the City Council to prioritize this project.”
Through the program, free, high-quality WiFi is now available at Neutaconkanut Park, Paterson Park, George J. West Park, Columbia Park, Ardoene Park and Joseph Williams Park. In the coming weeks, the program will be expanded to include Cabral Park, Merino Park, Viscolosi Park, Mt. Pleasant Park and Hopkins Square Park. New signage will indicate the availability of public WiFi at participating parks. Free public WiFi is already available in all City recreation centers, The Providence Rink at BankNewport City Center, Providence City Hall and the Joseph A. Doorley Jr. Municipal Building.
“This is an exciting project that will have an immediate impact across many of our neighborhoods,” said Council President John Igliozzi. “I was quick to team up with the mayor, the Parks Department, and our technology partners at Cox Communications and AT&T on this initiative to ensure families have access to free public Wi-Fi. Technology keeps us connected, and I look forward to the program blossoming into other city parks over the coming weeks.”
The City is also moving forward with the expansion of WiFi access at Roger Williams Park venues, including the Roger Williams Park Casino, Boathouse, Temple to Music, and Botanical Center, which is expected to be installed this fall.
In addition, the City announced the allocation of funding to support Providence residents’ access to the federal Affordable Connectivity Program, a broadband discount program for eligible households. The City has funded a new position, the Broadband Community Outreach Manager, who will provide administrative support for Providence residents interested in applying for the Affordable Connectivity Program through the Mayor’s Center for City Services. Residents interested in learning more about the program now should visit https://www.fcc.gov/acp.
These programs are funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal funds awarded to the City of Providence. Providence received $166 million in ARPA funds to support the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the Providence Rescue Plan, please click here.