The Housing Authority of Pittsburgh and Comcast have announced they have partnered to provide 1,500 families living in low-income residences with a year of free high-speed Internet service.
(TNS) — The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh and Comcast on Tuesday announced they have partnered to provide 1,500 families living in low-income residences with a year of free high-speed internet service.
Of those families receiving internet service, 1,000 have a Pittsburgh Public Schools student learning at home, according to Comcast.
“Internet access became more important than ever when everyone transitioned to working and learning from home,” U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, said in a statement. “Comcast’s Internet Essentials partnership with HACP, funded by the CARES Act, helps to close the digital divide for Pittsburgh families who need Internet access in order to be successful in school and work.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Comcast has offered low-income families two months of free internet service through its Internet Essentials program. The housing authority purchased another 10 months of service, adding up to 12 months total for its eligible residents.
The housing authority said it will have a system in place by the end of 2020 ensuring that all of its residents have internet access.
Representatives from the housing authority will contact eligible families over the next several weeks to connect them to Internet Essentials. Eligibility criteria includes eligibility for public assistance programs and residence within a Comcast coverage area.
The housing authority in May announced a $275,000 donation to the Pittsburgh Public Schools to provide the capital to purchase laptops and internet access for students living in the authority’s residences. The donation was made in an effort to bridge the digital divide that plagues low-income communities.
Devices and internet service have become crucial to education as schools across the country are preparing to start the year in an at least partially virtual model. The Pittsburgh Public Schools will hold at least the first nine weeks of classes online.
“The first step in this process was to make sure our students were connected to their remote learning platforms,” Caster D. Binion, executive director of the housing authority, said in a statement. “Next, we’ll be working to connect senior citizens, disabled individuals, job seekers and anyone in between with suitable, home internet service.”
©2020 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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