High Speed Internet Comes to Public Housing

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Cleveland has a yawning digital divide. One-third of residents don’t have access to the Internet at all. But that gap will shrink for residents of Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority buildings because of a partnership with tech nonprofit DigitalC.

A pilot program called Connect the Unconnected will bring a high-speed wireless connection to each building, and train residents to use computers. Once they complete the classes, residents will get desktops and routers to browse the ‘Net.

DigitalC CEO Lev Gonick said an Internet connection is crucial for many important tasks. 

“Sixty to eighty percent of all jobs, you must apply on line. If you actually are needing to check your healthcare record, you must check it online,” he said.

CMHA CEO Jeffrey Patterson said tenants are looking forward to being wired.

“Residents are thrilled about being able to have this in their homes. A lot of folks may have it on their smart phones, but to be able to utilize it in your home, to be able to surf the web and do so many different things is just exciting.”

The project launches next week at the CMHA high-rise in the Central neighborhood.  Eight CHMA buildings are participating.

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