Russell neighborhood to host Gigabit Experience Center

September 19, 2016
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Citizens will be able to experience ultra high-speed internet at Louisville Central Community Centers

Mayor Greg Fischer today announced that Louisville Central Community Centers will host a city project aimed at providing citizens an interactive experience with gigabit internet technology.

Announced in August, the Gigabit Experience Center will occupy a section of Old Walnut Street, an urban commercial and cultural arts center developed by LC3 on its campus at 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd. in Russell. The Gigabit Experience Center will be wired with an ultra high-speed internet connection to provide access to digital training, entrepreneurship and civic engagement.

“The Gigabit Experience Center will be an eye-opening experience for citizens as to the possibilities this technology poses for our city,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Citizens from across Louisville will come to Louisville Center Community Centers to discover hands-on the transformative potential gigabit connectivity holds for our city.”

The Gigabit Experience Center is expected to open in the Old Walnut Street facility in early 2017.

At the Gigabit Experience Center, citizens will have the opportunity to interact and utilize ultra high-speed internet connectivity. The center will also host events to showcase how gigabit internet technology will reshape living, learning, and doing business in Louisville.

While the center will have world-class internet speeds, it aims to engage citizens of all neighborhoods, ages and skill-levels about the future of technology, and to show the community how engaging technology can improve their lives today.

 “In today’s world, everyone needs to have some level of comfort with technology,” said Grace Simrall, Louisville Metro’s chief innovation officer. “Whether it is applying for a job or doing your homework, you need access to the internet and technology to get ahead in the new economy.  We believe this center will be a place for our entire community to learn about technology and the benefits it can provide them in their lives right now.”

LC3 President Kevin Fields said: "We're extremely pleased to partner with Louisville Metro on this innovative strategy to promote business development and create jobs through the provision of ultra-high-speed internet service. The Gigabit Experience Center is a much needed economic development break-through for west Louisville that is sure to spark interest and engagement among citizens and prospective entrepreneurs.”

The Gigabit Experience Center is being made possible through a $30,000 award from the Next Century Cities, a $25,000 award from the PNC Foundation, and a $25,000 matching award from Living Cities. Next Century Cities is a nonprofit membership organization of over 145 mayors and city leaders nationwide committed to ensuring access to fast, affordable and reliable internet access for their citizens. Louisville’s proposal for the Gigabit Experience Center was among three inaugural winners of the Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Award.

The PNC Foundation forms partnerships with community-based nonprofit organizations within the markets PNC serves in order to enhance educational opportunities for children, particularly underserved pre-K children through the PNC Grow Up Great program, and to promote the growth of targeted communities through economic development initiatives. Living Cities is an innovative philanthropic collaborative of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions working to create lasting improvements in the lives of low-income people and the cities where they live.

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