As the company has recently announced, certain housing projects will receive free Internet from Google. More specifically, the residents of the selected housing projects will have free Internet connections through the fiber optic service.
The whole project started in Kansas City, Missouri, with one affordable housing community of one hundred homes. The buildings of West Bluff were all connected to Google Fiber for free. This will soon be followed by other communities, since the company is already working with some providers to connect local families across the area to its service.
The program is part of an initiative named ConnectHome, belonging to the Housing and Urban Development U.S. Department, as well as the Obama administration. Julian Castro, the secretary of HUD, has previously stated that they are planning to connect about 200,000 children in 28 U.S. cities to the Internet via the ConnectHome program. Thus, Google will contribute to connections in N.C., Atlanta, Nashville, Durham and San Antonio.
The company seems to be quite generous, since local residents, local housing authorities and the Housing and Urban Development Department will not have to pay a dime for the project. Everything is supported by Google. Furthermore, there will be no contract or fees.
Google Fiber was first launched in 2012 in the Kansas City area and has since also extended to Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas. The company is currently implementing the technology in six more cities. Residents that are not part of affordable housing communities normally pay $70 per month for their Internet connection via Google Fiber.
However, eligible residents will receive more than free Internet, since they will also have access to Surplus Exchange and Connecting for Good, which are partners of ConnectHome. This gives them the opportunity of learning new computer skills and buying discounted computers. In Austin for example, Google plans to invest in digital literacy classes and computer labs.
Google Fiber vice president, Dennis Kish, has declared that they want to implement gigabit Internet to affordable housing in more Fiber cities. He also pointed towards the fact that the United States have one of the most expensive broadband globally, while lagging behind many other countries that have higher Internet speeds.
As certain housing projects will receive free Internet from Google, government officials in the Kansas City area have greatly praised Google Fiber, making reference to the boost in business interest, but also to the reduction of the digital divide.
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