City continues Internet freebie
- By Jill Rosen
- Sep 03, 2001
LaGrange, Ga., which made headlines last year by offering its residents
free Internet access via cable television, is extending the pilot program
so even more people can take advantage of it.
Since the free offer began last summer, city officials (www.lagrange-ga.org)
have worked to increase the amount of local content online in the hope that
having more information relevant to residents will encourage the town's
technology holdouts to get hooked up.
Of the residents who haven't taken the city up on the offer, City Manager
Tom Hall said they're either advanced computer users or people who don't
think using the Internet will be useful to them.
To jump-start the local content, the city recently offered free Web
space to all local nonprofit organizations. So far, about 80 community groups
including churches, neighborhoods and scouting troops have set up sites.
"We're trying to get everybody literate with the use of technology,"
Hall said. "We know not everybody is interested in the Internet, but knowing
what goes on at their kids' school is important or what's going on at their
church is important."
Last year, the city attracted national attention by offering free Internet
access via cable television to everyone in the city for one year.
About half of LaGrange's approximately 10,000 residents now have Internet
access 15 percent of them via cable television.
The city, which doesn't collect property taxes, funds the effort with
profits from the sale of telecommunications services to businesses. Hall
expects the program will cost $150,000 for this year.