By Janelle Ward
The Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. has selected Black-owned internet service provider Culture Wireless Group as its first contracted ISP to install high-speed internet along its projected 22 miles of outdoor trails.
Upon completion, the internet provided by Culture Wireless will serve those who live and work along the BeltLine, as well as visitors located within a specific radius of the system of multi-use trails.
“In addition to building trails, the Atlanta BeltLine is building out a technology infrastructure that will help bridge the digital divide for all Atlantans, particularly those who live and work along the BeltLine,” said Atlanta BeltLine CEO and president Clyde Higgs. “These investments are being made to ensure the most vulnerable populations along the BeltLine corridor have access to technology so they can further tap into the BeltLine economy and economic opportunities in general.”
Culture Wireless Group was founded to bring affordable and reliable internet to Atlanta’s underserved and under-resourced communities. Based out of Atlanta’s Vine City neighborhood, the internet provider works to close the “digital divide” that burdens Black neighborhoods, businesses and the city’s collection of historically-Black colleges and universities comprising the Atlanta University Center.
“When you want to look at the internet available in the 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 even though [the campuses are] less than a mile apart, the access to the quality of internet is very different.”
According to its website, Culture Wireless offers service plans to 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, with plans to service communities within Jacksonville, Florida, as well.
The BeltLine hosted a ceremony on Monday, March 13 to commemorate the breaking ground on Segments 4 and 5 of the organization’s Southside Trail, which, when completed, will connect Atlanta’s communities surrounding Grant Park, Glenwood Park, Ormewood Park and Boulevard Heights.