Starry launches pilot program with the Boston Housing Authority to expand affordable Internet access in public housing communities

September 07, 2018 - Owners Developers & Managers

Boston, MA Starry, Inc., a technology company pioneering the use of millimeter waves to deploy fixed 5G wireless last-mile gigabit broadband, has  partnered with the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) to launch a pilot program aimed at providing free and low-cost Internet access solutions to housing authority residents. The program, called Starry Connect, is being piloted at BHA’s Ausonia Apartments and provides free, common area WiFi Internet access to building residents. Ausonia residents can access the Internet, free-of-charge, in the building’s community rooms and hallways. In addition, Starry is donating five computers for a designated computer lab for Ausonia residents. Located in the North End, Ausonia is a 100-unit, seven-story, housing complex specifically designed to serve seniors and disabled individuals.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 24 million Americans still lack access to a high-speed Internet broadband connection. And among lower-income Americans, nearly half do not have a broadband connection at home. Starry is helping address the digital gap via Starry Connect, a program aimed at providing a variety of free and low-cost internet access solutions for public and affordable housing communities. From building common area WiFi access to monthly, low-cost access plans, Starry Connect will offer simple, easy-to-understand and use plans for residents in public or subsidized affordable housing, through partnerships with cities, states and owners of affordable housing properties.

“We thank Starry for providing this valuable service to our elderly and disabled residents,” said BHA Administrator Bill McGonagle. “Starry’s commitment to digital equity is commendable and we look forward to continuing our partnership going forward.”

“Access to high-speed broadband is critical for education, communication, and personal and professional development, and yet today, many people still lack access to a basic, affordable, and reliable internet connection,” said Starry CEO and co-founder, Chet Kanojia. 

“We can’t sit on the sidelines and hope things get better. That’s why we’re launching Starry Connect. When we founded Starry, our mission was to build a better internet service and create a better customer experience for everyone. Closing the digital gap and the inequities that emerge as a result is something technology can help solve. That’s why we’re excited to partner with the Boston Housing Authority to devise creative solutions to help get more of their residents online and engaged with the critical services they need.”

“The innovative partnership between the Boston Housing Authority and Starry Internet is an important step in advancing Mayor Walsh’s digital equity agenda and expands access to high quality broadband service citywide,” said Patricia Boyle-McKenna, Interim Chief Information Officer for the City of Boston. “Providing a computer lab and public WiFi is a great step in developing resources that Boston residents can utilize to fulfill their long-term pursuits in life.”

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