Mayor Jacob Frey
350 South 5th Street, Room 331
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Dear Mayor Frey,
As a community of educators, parents, and concerned citizens, we ask you to act swiftly to ensure reliable, city-wide access to wireless internet service in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Please boost the city’s service, or offer a supplemental wireless service such as free phone hotspots, which are now being offered in Rhode Island through a partnership with the State.
Minneapolis has the great benefit of already having a city-wide wireless network that you have generously made open to the public during the COVID-19 crisis. However, that system is now so overloaded as to be inaccessible to many residents. Private suppliers like Comcast have offered free installation, but their wait times are weeks long.
As our community moves into virtual life, wireless access is essential for distance learning, maintaining employment, accessing healthcare systems without overburdening hospitals with non-emergencies, and maintaining the connectivity of neighbors, friends, and family that is the fabric of our community.
Residents without personal wireless service are already our most vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. Their inability to access the city’s wireless service will increase their vulnerability and widen the gaps our city has fought for decades to close.
We trust the City of Minneapolis will move with urgency to address the increased need for true accessibility of wireless services.