Housing Authority Gets Residents Connected
In Crystal Steadman's community of West Haven, you can already see several recently-installed, high speed wireless antennas. "This will be an amazing benefit! With having four children learning in the home,[...]this will make our school day flow better and will cut down on what has already been a difficult transition," Steadman said.
Steadman said, "this boosts my confidence and makes me feel like I'm truly able to work a home business and not have that income go away."
The Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro's (HACG's) newest initiative with Open Broadband, LLC, will provide fast and reliable broadband internet to each of our public housing communities before the end of 2020. "We constantly strive to be a leader in the public housing community and to eliminate any barriers faced by the residents we serve. Our families are disproportionately under connected and even more so now that we're in a pandemic" say CEO, Anthony Goodson, Jr.
In April of this year, the Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro received $786,191.00 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Public Housing Operation Fund, and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to help manage and maintain resident services, as well as support and respond to the coronavirus pandemic in our housing communities. As a ConnectHomeUSA community since 2017, HACG saw the need for quality internet as a major priority for these funds. The funds will aid in the installation of the fixed-wireless internet that is much faster than other previous internet alternatives. West Haven uses a gigabit internet connection from a nearby Open Broadband tower site to provide connection to the community, and then a Wi-Fi mesh system to distribute the service to residents. HACG also intends to cover the usage charges for residents for at least 2 years.
Mr. Goodson states that "Access to high-quality broadband is no longer a luxury, but a necessity and bridging the digital divide with quality connectivity not only puts our residents' needs at the forefront, but ensures that everyone despite age, race, or current living arrangements have the resources they need to survive, succeed, and become self-sufficient--which is our top priority."
Alana Moore shares similar sentiments. Despite multiple health issues, Alana has still braved the weather to walk to the neighborhood community center to access computers for herself and her son, AJ. With many community centers closed due to the pandemic, she has had more difficulty with connectivity. She states, "As a home school parent and business owner, the internet for my household is super necessary! Not only will my son be able to access his curriculum, but the vision for my business, Teach Love, will be brought to life. I will be able to explore graphic design, connect virtually with the students I tutor, and expand my reach--all from the comfort of my own home. These are my goals and having reliable internet connection brings them within reach!"
About Open Broadband
Open Broadband, LLC is a hybrid fiber and fixed-wireless ISP delivering high-speed internet service in underserved communities across North Carolina. We have one simple goal in mind - provide affordable high-speed internet service to those in need. Open Broadband is North Carolina owned and operated and can be found online at https://openbb.net.
ConnectHomeUSA is a movement to bridge the digital divide for HUD-assisted housing residents in the United States under the leadership of national nonprofit EveryoneOn. By helping residents in participating communities to get connected at home and providing access to digital literacy and educational resources.