Connecting public housing, at gigabit speeds
At Google Fiber, we often talk about how superfast speeds and access to home broadband can move entire communities forward. For low income families, access to the Internet can mean the difference between thriving or falling behind. It can mean more children using computers in after-school programs and STEM classes, more students going online to finish their homework, more people taking advantage of resources like Khan Academy, and more families learning basic computer skills that help them be more connected.
That’s why last year, we partnered with ConnectHome, an initiative by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the White House to accelerate Internet adoption by families with school-age children in public housing. Today, alongside HUD Secretary Julián Castro and local partners, we’re proud to take another step in that commitment by announcing that we’ll be bringing gigabit Internet service to residents in all public housing properties that we connect with Google Fiber. Families in these properties will be able to access some of the fastest speeds, at no cost to the housing authority or to residents.
Affordable housing residents can sign up for service using a process that makes it easier to bring the Internet home.
Working side-by-side with the Housing Authority of Kansas City, we’re launching the program today at West Bluff, the first property to receive gigabit Internet as a part of this program. We’ve wired all 100 homes with Fiber, and families can sign up today to access the Internet at up to 1,000 Mbps. And through local ConnectHome partners, such as Connecting for Good and Surplus Exchange, they’ll also be able to purchase discounted devices and learn new computer skills. Across Kansas City, we’re working with local affordable housing providers to connect up to nine properties, reaching more than 1,300 families in the metro area.
A West Bluff resident and her son are among the first to receive gigabit Internet from Google Fiber at no cost.
Looking forward, we plan to bring gigabit Internet to select affordable housing in all of our Fiber cities. We’re working with local providers to identify which properties we’ll connect across these markets, and we’ll have more to share as we bring Google Fiber to these cities. Finally, inspired by the early success of our work with the Housing Authority for the City of Austin, we’ll be complementing this $0/month Internet service by working with local partners to make new investments in computer labs and digital literacy classes so residents learn the skills they need to get online.
The U.S. has some of the most expensive broadband in the world, while lagging far behind other countries in Internet speeds. And for families in affordable housing, cost can be one of the biggest barriers to getting online. Alongside our ConnectHome partners, we’re proud to make some of the fastest Internet more available and accessible to those who need it most.
Posted by Dennis Kish, Vice President, Google Fiber