BeltLine hires black-owned Culture Wireless as its first internet service provider
By Janelle Ward
The Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. has selected Black-owned Internet service provider Culture Wireless Group as their first ISP to install high-speed Internet along their planned 22 miles of outdoor trails.
When completed, the Internet provided by Culture Wireless will serve those who live and work along the Beltline, as well as those who are within a certain radius of the multipurpose trail system.
“In addition to building trails, the Atlanta BeltLine is building a technology infrastructure that will help bridge the digital divide for all Atlanta residents, particularly those who live and work along the BeltLine,” said Clyde Higgs, CEO and President from Atlanta BeltLine. “These investments are being made to ensure the most vulnerable populations along the BeltLine corridor have access to technology so they can continue to take advantage of the BeltLine economy and economic opportunities more generally.”
Culture Wireless Group was formed to bring affordable and reliable internet to Atlanta’s underserved and underfunded communities. The internet service provider, based in Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood, is working to close the “digital divide” plaguing black neighborhoods, businesses and the city’s cluster of historically black colleges and universities, which includes Atlanta University Center.
“If you want to look at the internet available at AUC versus the internet available at Georgia Tech, they are two completely different things,” Culture Wireless CEO Vernell Woods said in a previous interview with the Atlanta Voice. “And although [the campuses are] Being less than a mile apart access to the quality of the internet is very different.”
According to its website, Culture Wireless offers service plans for individual households, educational institutions, businesses and municipalities. The company is currently expanding to bring Internet access to other regions of the state, including Augusta, Warner Robins and Columbus. Culture Wireless is also expanding its reach beyond state lines and plans to serve communities in Jacksonville, Florida.
BeltLine held a ceremony on Monday, March 13 to mark the groundbreaking of segments 4 and 5 of the organization’s Southside Trail, which when completed will serve the communities of Atlanta around Grant Park, Glenwood Park, Ormewood Park and Boulevard Heights will connect.