The project pledging to provide free Wi-Fi to thousands of people on the West Side that was promised to come by January will likely not be ready until late spring.
Buffalo Public Schools Acting Director of Instructional Technology Sarah Edwards says the project is just now in its early stages and that plans to have the project done by the beginning of the year were too ambitious.
“I’m honestly not sure where that goal came from,” Edwards said. “The story came out just when the RFP was awarded, which meant we were still going through the planning and contract procedures. We are trying to move forward with more concrete plans.”
The free Wi-Fi zone on the West Side will extend from West Ferry Street south to Carolina Street and extend east from Richmond Avenue to the I-190.
The project will give Buffalo Public School students access to free Wi-Fi in order to do schoolwork at home. Family members will be able to use the Wi-Fi, but there will be filters to block social networking sites and streaming services.
The project is being partially funded by a grant from the State Department of Education.
According to Edwards, the plan is to place large antennas that will amplify the school’s Wi-Fi signal to the surrounding neighborhood, on the following schools: School 3, Frank A. Sedita, Herman Badillo and Harvey Austin. The project organizers will be looking to work with businesses and community organization to put equipment on their buildings as well. By Francis Boeck and Emmanuel Rodriguez