Free WiFi a step closer to reality in Annie Glidden North neighborhood

DeKALB – Residents of DeKalb’s north side are a step closer to enjoying free WiFi with the help of some federal grant money which recently funded the installation of fiber optic for internet in the Annie Glidden North neighborhood.

In March, the DeKalb City Council gave the green light to direct an additional $100,000 in federal funds to enhance free WiFi in the neighborhood to help narrow the digital divide. The funds came from the federal Community Development Block Grant, which went toward the $310,000 project costs, with the city’s internet provider, Syndeo, contributing $212,000 to the project.

As of this week, luminaries were installed atop the 21 new light poles around the Annie Glidden Neighborhood, according to a Friday social media post by the city of DeKalb, and fiber optic has already been run.

Free WiFi is getting closer in Annie Glidden North. Luminaries have now been installed atop more than 20 new light...

Posted by City of DeKalb, Illinois on Friday, April 30, 2021

The last step will be to install the WiFi equipment which will be housed on the poles, according to the post. After the internet connection is tested, residents will be notified that it’s ready to use, coming at an opportune time when remote and hybrid learning still is in use because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development previously promoted the use of federal funds to provide broadband access to low-income populations, and block grant money is administered through HUD to local municipalities for use in such projects.

Katie Finlon

Katie Finlon covers local government and breaking news for DeKalb County in Illinois. She has covered local government news for Shaw Media since 2018 and has had bylines in Daily Chronicle, Kendall County Record newspapers, Northwest Herald and in public radio over the years.