City of Amarillo hoping to solve digital divide for students and low-income residents

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 7:11 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2021 at 7:16 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -A groundbreaking program will serve as a major advancement for the entire Panhandle area.

The City of Amarillo is taking steps to provide low-cost broadband access to students and low-income residents.

Impact Broadband and Mimosa by Airspan are teaming up to create the project, Amarillo connected.

This project allows free to low-cost broadband access to help up to 10,000 students and low-income residents across the Panhandle.

The Amarillo Chief Information Officer, Rich Gagnon wants to see more connectivity in our local area.

“The impact that not being connected is having is actually amplified coming out of COVID so the inspiration is really this, no citizen in the Amarillo area should go without access to essential services,” said Gagnon.

Amarillo’s digital divide is unique due to the number of students in our area without internet access.

Gagnon said, “Seeing the impact that COVID had when we had students that were driving to parking lots to sit around a bus and connect to the internet really highlighted that this problem is impactful.”

Amarillo Independent School District and Region 16 backed up the vision of Amarillo connected ensuring that students and staff must have equal access to education.

The Amarillo City Council approved the funding back in October and is set to be effective in January, of 2022.

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