PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The United Way is building a wireless high-speed Internet network in a pair of poor Philadelphia neighborhoods, according to the Associated Press.
The project, to be completed in April, will create two Internet "hot spots" in West Philadelphia that will allow anyone with the right equipment to tap into a broadband connection. The service will cost between $5 and $10 per month, less than what many people pay to dial up the Internet on a modem.
Only people with a computer and a wireless Internet adapter card will be able to get the signals, but the United Way plans to start giving away machines to area families this summer, the AP reported.
"The long-term plan is to have a wireless coverage blanket in neighborhoods where people probably couldn't afford the service on their own," Stephen Rockwell, director of technology outreach for the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, told the AP.
The plan's purpose, he said, is to give some of the state's poorest residents the same easy access to information about jobs, daycare, education and government services that people in the middle class have long enjoyed. Similar efforts to connect the poor to the Internet are underway nationwide.