King learned about mesh wifi networks during a conference while he was first educating himself about the low-power FM radio stations permitting process. His low-power FM station already leverages a tower atop the Housing Authority to broadcast its station to the community, and he saw this foundation as a prime opportunity to “boss up” by providing Internet accessibility via wifi to people who need it. Beyond providing a social good, King also intends to provide a good example. “I want to help our community believe that we can do something,” he said during an exclusive interview with Politic365. “We can’t blame everyone else for not manifesting our God-given talent. You don’t need money to get started….all it costs is the ability to read, write, and count…all is takes is sweat equity.”
William King, Jr. epitomizes the modern definition of a Renaissance Man. The former airmen in the U.S. Air Force and corrections officer turned community activist and media entrepreneur has spent more than twenty years trying to “give a voice to the voiceless” in Northern Omaha, Nebraska. The product of public housing and public schools, King, who holds a degree in behavioral science, possesses a tremendous worth ethic and understands the power of “collective economics” to build his dreams and support communal advancement.
King runs a low-power FM radio station, 95.7 The Boss (@957theboss) in Omaha, the first Black-owned station in almost twenty years to serve the area. He also runs AM radio station, 1690 The One (@1690amtheone). King first honed his media chops when he began broadcasting a televised show on local public access networks — an endeavor he’s had underway for two decades. His latest venture – the creation of a mesh wifi network is partnership with the Omaha Housing Authority and Omaha Public Power District – is the result of seeing an unmet need and a profound opportunity to help his community.
King is already working with local companies, as well as the Omaha utility and housing authority to develop and contract out the appropriate plans for implementing a mesh wifi network. His concept has received preliminary permitting approval, after demonstrating that his proposed network will not interfere with competing cellular and wireless signals. Now he’s moving into the fundraising and deployment phases of his project.
After buildout in Omaha is complete, King intends to expand his footprint by providing mesh wifi networks in “B,” “C,” and “D” markets, cities of less than 100,000 residents that tend to be unserved or underserved. He envisions himself as a job creator and network developer, and wants to create equity opportunities for the residents of the communities in which he builds.
A social entrepreneur at heart, King sees his work in media and communications infrastructure access as being part of a broader testing ground — delivering opportunities to communicate and information on how to achieve one’s highest potential. “God has blessed me with a lab of 800,000 people so we can test things and see what works,” he says, referencing the reach his media inputs have provided him. “I try to be a good steward on the words that we put out. I’m conscious of that, and know for a fact that we bring great things into existence.”
Motivated by “people [who] tell me I can’t do something,” King is creating a collaborative ecosystem in which people can work together to build up their community at the same time that they cross-promote their projects in order to garner new opportunities to monetize their work. This media king’s journey is far from over, but one thing is for certain, he’s determined to help others “boss up” to achieve their highest potential.