Pilot project to provide free Wi-Fi in central Iowa area

A project being funded by Microsoft and federal grants will provide free internet to Valley Junction area of West Des Moines.

The Des Moines Register reports that the three-year pilot project will provide free Wi-Fi to area students, businesses and residents.

The project is expected to launch in October. As part of the project, T-Mobile will also be providing portable wireless devices known as Mi-Fis to about 200 low-income students from Hillside Elementary over the next two years.

Project Consultant Dave Lyons says those students and their families are the heart of the public-private partnership.

Lyons says the free public Wi-Fi aims to open up internet access, not replace existing services for families and businesses.

A federal development block grant was used for the project.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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