Google and Comcast will provide Wi-Fi to Seattle’s low-income residents

By Seattle Housing Authority

On March 30 at Yesler Terrace Community Center, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced the launch of the City’s Digital Equity Initiative.

“Seattle is a city known for its technology and innovation, yet too many residents do not have sufficient internet access, a high-quality device or the skills necessary to participate fully in our high-tech economy and community,” the Mayor said.

Joining him at the press conference were representatives from Google and Comcast, who each announced programs that will help make internet service more accessible to Seattle Housing Authority residents.

Google pledged $344,000 toward internet connectivity and technology skills training for Seattle, including Wi-Fi access at 26 Seattle Parks’ community centers, 31 computers for their technology learning labs, and a grant to SHA to provide up to three years of free internet service for Kindergarten through 12th Grade students and their families living at High Point, NewHolly, Rainier Vista, Yesler Terrace and Lake City Court.

According to the City, more than 93,000 homes in Seattle, or about 15 percent of the population, do not have internet access.

“With these grants, we hope to increase internet access for those who need it most, whether to do their homework, connect with loved ones or to access important services,” said Darcy Nothnagle, head of external affairs for the Northwest at Google.

SHA will contact the families that are eligible for the free internet service through the Google grant.

Comcast announced that it is extending discounted internet service to all SHA public housing residents who live in a Comcast service area and who are not current subscribers or within the past three months prior to applying for the discount.

Called Internet Essentials, the program offers internet-only service for $9.95 per month, plus tax. Comcast is also offering computers for $149.99 plus tax and free internet training. For more information or to sign up, residents should call 877-572-0287 or visit www.InternetEssentials.com.

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