TFA has a history of research partnerships with major institutions to provide research and educational opportunities and make strides in technology research. Our TFA-Wireless network with Rice University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is an example of our work to expand and explore research and educational opportunities fueled by technology. TFA-Wireless is a high-speed, free, secure wireless Internet service. It is also a research network and part of Technology For All’s research and innovation strategy to empower low-income and under resourced communities through technology access.
The initial service area for TFA-Wireless covers approximately two square miles of the Pecan Park neighborhood in Houston’s East End. The service area is marked by Griggs Road on the northwest, Lawndale Street and State Highway 225 on the northeast, Loop 610 on the southeast and I-45 South to the southwest.
Any resident of Pecan Park with wireless knowledge or who attends an orientation class at TFA’s community technology center at Mission Milby Community Development Corporation, 2220 Broadway may be eligible to receive free or reduced-rate Internet services from TFA-Wireless.
The TFA-Wireless network is a collaborative project designed and built by Rice University faculty and students in the Rice Network Group, a research group within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The lead scientist on the project is Professor Edward Knightly, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Associate Professor of Computer Science. Click here for Rice’s TFA-Wireless website.
Other community organizations are collaborating on the project. Houston Community College Southeast, Cossaboom YMCA, Melcher Neighborhood Library and other schools participate as antenna hosts. Visitors to those locations receive equal access to the network, no matter where they are.
The TFA-Wireless network is one of a kind: 19,000 Houstonians get free, secure wireless Internet, TFA gets to help a community in need, and Rice gets results from a real environment instead of a lab. In 2011 the TFA-Wireless network provided the first residential use of “Super WiFi”, a long-range, barrier-piercing wireless network. While wireless signals can often be limited by trees, buildings and other objects, “Super WiFi” is strong enough to break through those barriers and into the homes of Pecan Park residents.
For more information, please visit:
Phone: (832) 303-1351