via Digital El Paso
The Digital El Paso project is an experiment intended to make El Paso a "digital community." It is a collaborative effort, with the El Paso City, County, Housing Authority and El Paso ISD as primary sponsors.
Create a "pilot" neighborhood where all residents and business have Internet access
Establish the concept of the Internet as a necessary "utility" in the El Paso community
Integrate Internet access into all future development and renovation plans
Some of the Digital El Paso objectives include:
Phase 1: Wireless Internet Downtown
The first phase of the Digital El Paso project is the development of a wireless Internet network in the Downtown/South El Paso area, also known as Segundo Barrio. The coverage area is approximately one square mile south of the County Courthouse to the Cesar Chavez (Border) Highway and the U.S.-Mexico border.
The County supervised the installation of more than 30 routers on street-side electrical and light poles between commercial and residential buildings. There is currently no charge to use the Digital El Paso wireless Internet signal during this initial phase. There are also no restrictions to content; however, bandwidth may be limited during peak usage periods.
Several factors may affect the signal strength of the network: User's proximity to a network router
Building walls, trees or other large obstacles
Phase 1: Computer Distribution
Phase 1 also includes distribution of Internet-ready desktop and laptop computers to underserved residents of the wireless Internet coverage area. Local community organizations, such as Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe and Sacred Heart Catholic Church already provide computer training to Segundo Barrio residents.
These organizations will additionally offer basic computer, Internet and e-mail training to families who want to take home a computer at no charge.
El Paso Community College (EPCC) established the Orion Refurbished Computer Activity (ORCA) program. EPCC collects quality used computers from large area organizations that need an outlet to recycle older computers. EPCC students refurbish the computers and equip them with wireless Internet cards.
EPCC then distributes the computers to the training centers, where they are made available to residents who complete the four-week training program.
DONATE your computers to the ORCA program!