Google To Give Free Internet To Low-Income Households

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The tech giant has promised to provide free internet to residents of certain public and affordable housing schemes in the United States.

Included in the scheme are every current and future Google Fiber markets, where low-income households will receive the service for $0 a month with no installation fee, writes Angela Moscaritolo for PC Mag.

Google to extend scheme as Fiber enters new markets

Google Fiber is currently available in the Kansas City area; Austin, Texas; and Provo, Utah. There are plans for the service to expand to Atlanta; Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C; Nashville, Tenn.; Salt Lake City; Phoenix, Portland, Ore., San Antonio; and San Jose, Calif.

Google is working in conjunction with the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on a program known as ConnectHome, which is working to provide Internet connectivity to children and families that live in assisted housing. 27 communities across the country have been selected for the scheme.

“We’re proud to partner with HUD to connect families in four of the communities they’ve selected — Atlanta, Durham, Nashville and Kansas City,” read a blog post by Erica Swanson, head of community impact for Google Fiber. “We’ll also extend the program to every other current and future Google Fiber market.”

Alongside Google, other Internet providers are also part of ConnectHome. CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox Communications and Sprint have announced programs in various areas of the country.

Free internet and digital literacy courses

Google is also working on basic computer courses which will be offered at computer labs in each Fiber market. “Providing an Internet connection is just one piece of the puzzle,” Swanson wrote. “People can only take advantage of the many benefits of the Web when they understand why it matters and know how to use it.”

In November a previous partnership saw Google provide free internet and digital literacy classes to public housing residents in Austin, Texas. Over 90% of eligible residents signed up for the service, and over 50% completed the training.

“With support from local organizations and city leaders, we hope to see this same kind of success across the country,” Swanson wrote.

A report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers said that although the digital divide is closing, “there is still a substantial distance to go, particularly in our poorest neighborhoods and most rural communities, to ensure that all Americans can take advantage of the opportunities created by recent advances in computing and communications technology.”

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