Hamilton County & United Way announce public Wi-Fi grantees

Funding will improve digital access for families throughout Hamilton County.
June 14, 2024
File folder labeled "grants" resting on a keyboard

News Release
Contact: media@uwgc.org
or Bridget Doherty, 513-658-0149, bridget.doherty@hamilton-co.org

CINCINNATI (June 14, 2024) – Hamilton County and United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) are proud to announce the organizations selected to receive funding through Hamilton County’s Public Wi-Fi Grant Program. Commissioners are investing more than $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act resources toward the program that UWGC is administering to expand broadband internet to families in Hamilton County. Projects were selected based on community need, span of impact and capacity.

“We are committed to bridging the digital divide in Hamilton County,” said Commission President Alicia Reece. “These Wi-Fi grants are essential in making sure that no one is left behind and that everyone can fully participate in all the opportunities that come with having access to the internet.”

“No matter where you are in Hamilton County, at a park, at a rec center, or in a public space, we want our community to have access to free and secure Wi-Fi because we know it improves lives and economic outcomes for our communities,” said Commissioner Denise Driehaus.

“With every Wi-Fi grant, we're strengthening connections and empowering families within our community,” said Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas. “These grants have the added bonus of being paired with learning opportunities through United Way’s Digital Equity Program.”

UWGC awarded complementary digital equity grants to support digital skills programming, but it all starts with foundational broadband access.

“Improving digital connectedness across Greater Cincinnati is one of our priorities, and we value partners like Hamilton County who share that commitment,” said Moira Weir, UWGC President and CEO. “These Wi-Fi infrastructure projects will give more families access to resources that can unlock economic opportunities now and in the future.”

Nonprofit organizations and local governments in Hamilton County were eligible to apply. Grants range from $10,000 to $200,000.

  • Cincinnati Recreation Commission: Installing Wi-Fi access points at 10 parks.
  • Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses: Installing six Wi-Fi access points throughout the West End.
  • Peaslee Neighborhood Center Inc.: Boosting the Wi-Fi range and reliability throughout its building for public access.
  • MORTAR Cincinnati: Expanding free, high-speed Wi-Fi access throughout its building primarily for public access.
  • Cincinnati Health Department: Providing public Wi-Fi across all facilities, including six community health centers and four WIC locations.
  • Price Hill Will: Installing three outdoor Wi-Fi access points along Warsaw Avenue.
  • Cincinnati Urban Promise Inc.: Installing Wi-Fi in and around a new public co-working space.
  • Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation: Expanding free public Wi-Fi access to include five total community spaces in Walnut Hills.
  • Avondale Development Corporation: Replacing outdated Wi-Fi in eight The Community Builders (TCB) housing complexes and adding one not currently served. Also, replacing public Wi-Fi along Reading Road from Blair Avenue north to Fred Shuttlesworth Circle, including coverage in the Avondale Town Center.
  • City of Blue Ash: Installing free, public Wi-Fi at the park at Blue Ash Towne Square.
  • High Achievers Aim High: Installing 10 new Wi-Fi access points.
  • Green Township: Installing public Wi-Fi in park areas.

Hamilton County and UWGC thank all organizations that applied for this opportunity. We commend your commitment to expanding access to affordable broadband internet across the county. We look forward to working together to build a community where all people can thrive – now and in the future.

About Hamilton County’s American Rescue Plan Act Funding

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hamilton County Commissioners have been a driving force in connecting residents to resources by leveraging $158.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. From creating the 513Relief Bus that brings critical health and economic resources directly to residents, to developing grant programs and forging strong partnerships with community leaders, nonprofits, businesses, and healthcare providers - the Commissioners have worked to "build a strong, resilient, and equitable recovery by making investments that support long-term growth and opportunity" as outlined by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

About United Way of Greater Cincinnati

United Way of Greater Cincinnati (UWGC) fights for the economic well-being of all people in Greater Cincinnati so our entire community can thrive – now and in the future. Founded in 1915, UWGC is one of the region’s largest nonprofit organizations. It is committed to working alongside policymakers, community partners and donors to promote educational success, financial empowerment and housing security. Learn more about UWGC’s work across nine counties in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at UWGC.org. #UnitedWeThrive

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