Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) has launched a plan to deliver Internet access to low-income residents in all of its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) markets as part of the Obama administration's ConnectHome initiative.
ConnectHome is a new program launched by the White House and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with the goal of providing Internet connectivity to more school-aged children and families living in HUD-assisted housing in 28 communities across the country.
The service provider is launching a program that it says will provide free Internet connectivity in select public and affordable housing properties with no installation fee.
Joining CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Cox, Google Fiber will provide free Internet services in four of the 28 community targets HUD selected--including Atlanta, Durham, N.C., Nashville and Kansas City, Kan.
Erica Swanson, Head of Community Impact for Google Fiber, wrote in a blog post that they will provide complementary computer skills training to show residents how to they can use their fiber-based broadband services to conduct daily activities like surfing the Web and applying for jobs online.
"People can only take advantage of the many benefits of the web when they understand why it matters and know how to use it," wrote Swanson. "That's why we'll also partner with ConnectHome and local community groups to develop basic computer skills training and create computer labs to host these trainings in each of our Fiber markets."
Google Fiber is not a stranger to participating in such programs: it delivers Internet access to low-income families in Austin, Texas. Previously, the service provider had worked with the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA) on their Unlocking the Connection initiative. Working in collaboration with EveryoneOn.org, and local community groups such as Austin Free-Net and Austin Community College, Google Fiber is helping residents that reside in HACA communities get access to free Internet, enroll in digital literacy classes and access computers.
Google said that in Manacha Village, one of the first HACA properties it engaged, over 90 percent of residents signed up for service and over half of the residents completed digital literacy training.
- see this blog post
- see the White House's fact sheet
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