Google has stepped up its efforts to provide everyone with internet access by rolling out its first initiative: free web access for residents in public housing.
The tech giant’s participation is tied with ConnectHome, a government and local partnership that helps distribute broadband access to families who cannot afford standard packages. Google announced the release of free internet for residents in the West Bluff neighborhood of Kansas City – the first area wired with Google Fiber,reportsThe Verge.
Google Fiber provides up to 1,000 Mbps to communities in 27 cities, including Atlanta, Salt Lake City, Nashville, and more. The company is hoping the internet access will help children excel in the classroom, as well as educate parents about the web and the importance of developing efficient computer skills.
Fiber VP Dennis Kish penned a blog post about the rollout and the company’s plans to help even more underprivileged residents across the nation. So far, the program is expected to reach 275,000 families.
“We’ve wired all 100 homes with Fiber, and families can sign up today to access the Internet at up to 1,000 Mbps,” Kish wrote in a blog post. “For families in affordable housing, the cost can be one of the biggest barriers to getting online,” Kish said. “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.”
Google plans to expand “select” public housing properties in all Fiber cities, and the company is “working with local providers to identify which properties we’ll connect across these markets,” says the report.
Other programs also working to give out free internet include ISPs like Cox, Sprint, and Century Link.
Check out more information about ConnectHome here.