Free Wi-Fi Rollout Begins Today at Los Angeles-Area YMCAs

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Free unlimited internet access is available beginning today outside four Los Angeles YMCA branches -- set to expand to 20 branches total by November -- through a program funded by the Southern California Gas Co.

YMCA officials said the free Wi-Fi is intended to help bridge the lack of wireless connectivity in high-need communities at a time when so many Los Angeles County students are attending school online.

“We greatly appreciate the generosity of SoCalGas,'' said Mario Valenzuela, YMCA-LA's vice president of equity and inclusion. “Their donation allows us to give in-need communities equal access to the internet and in turn equal opportunities as everyone else to learn and thrive.''

Access to Wi-Fi is also critical for families who rely on the internet for tele-health services, job opportunities and career counseling.

The utility donated $60,000 to the program, which kicked off Monday at four locations:

-- Weingart East Los Angeles Family YMCA;

-- Weingart YMCA Wellness & Aquatic Center;

-- Wilmington Family YMCA; and

-- Montebello-Commerce Family YMCA.

Another 16 branches will follow in the next few weeks, with all locations operational by November.

“SoCalGas and the YMCA share the common goal of improving the quality of life in the communities in which we serve. We are proud to partner with the Y to help close the digital divide and provide free public Wi-Fi to all,'' said Cedric Williams, vice president of customer services for SoCalGas and a YMCA board member. “This initiative will open the doors of opportunity to many Angelenos, in particular students, jobseekers and those in need of tele-health resources.''

Internet access is unlimited and available during branch hours. More information can be found at

Photo: Getty Images

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