But now comes KC Freedom Network.
Since last fall, a consortium of nonprofit groups has been trying to bridge the digital divide by building what, for
The key: While most Internet service providers deliver the Net to homes via copper or, in
With microwave dishes and Wi-Fi systems, it uses the airwaves to connect people who might not otherwise have broadband Internet service.
As far as the project's backers are concerned, there is no limit on how big the KC Freedom Network will get.
Not that the big guys are sweating it.
A spokeswoman for
"It's great that
KC Freedom Network's effort to achieve better access for KC's core is seen by some as an exciting experiment.
"In as much as we're trying to bring digital access to the poor, this is a unique and valuable system to do that," said
Besides the technology, the other thing that makes KC Freedom Network different from other providers is that it's structured much like a food cooperative, owned by its members.
So far, grants have covered the
"It really is cutting-edge stuff," said
Bridging the divide
Most of us take home Web access for granted, even if we swallow hard when we see the bill. Low-income people, however, are less likely to have Internet access, which puts them at a huge disadvantage in today's economy.
Many employers accept only online job applications. School kids often need access to do their homework.
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