Communities & Wi-Fi

Thursday, January 29, 2015
“The Color of Wi-Fi” is a recent report released by Wi-Fi forward, a coalition dedicated to encouraging investment and growth of Wi-Fi deployment.  The new report, authored by Dr. John Horrigan and Professor Jason LLorenz, focuses on the important role publicly available Wi-Fi networks provide for African American and Latino communities.
The National Urban League is a strong advocate committed to ubiquitous broadband adoption – broadband for all.  Last year, we released our report, "With Broadband Equity for All: Principles to Drive Adoption, Investment and Growth in Urban America," which explored the economic benefits of universal broadband adoption in urban communities.  The report also advocated for a multi-sector approach including government, private entities, and non-profits to achieve the goal of broadband equity.
Similarly, the “Color of Wi-Fi” shows how the Internet, more specifically public Wi-Fi, empowers our communities in education and job searching.  With over 55 percent of African Americans using Wi-Fi at public libraries, community centers, city Wi-Fi networks and schools, this new study reinforces the important role that public Wi-Fi networks play in providing minority and underserved populations access not only to the Internet, but to important educational and employment opportunities.  Thus, through this study, we are better positioned to expand the broadband access discussion beyond home and cellular networks to include Wi-Fi.
As the U.S. continues to leverage the power of the Internet for greater economic opportunity, the findings of this report are an essential part of the national dialogue on digital equality and inclusion for all communities. 
Click the file below to read "Color of Wi-Fi" report.

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