White House: More internet access coming to low-income households in Memphis, other cities

ConnectHome to reach more than 275,000 households and nearly 200,000 children.

by Brianna Edwards, The Root | 7/15/2015, 1:07 p.m.
ConnectHome to reach more than 275,000 households and nearly 200,000 children.

President Barack Obama is travelling to Durant, Oklahoma on Wednesday to officially announce a new initiative geared at expanding high speed broadband to more families across the nation.

The ConnectHome pilot program is set to launch in 27 cities and one tribal nation a and will initially be geared to reach more than 275,000 low-income households and almost 200,000 children, giving them the support they need to access the Internet from the comfort of their own home.

According to the White House, Internet service providers, non-profits and the private sector have all chipped in to offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs and devices for the residents in assisted housing units.

“The stakes are clear: families living in the 21st century need 21st century tools to thrive,” Julián Castro, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development told reports on Wednesday, according to The Hill.

“While many middle-class U.S. students go home to Internet access, allowing them to do research, write papers, and communicate digitally with their teachers and other students, too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends,” the White House noted in its press release. “This “homework gap” runs the risk of widening the achievement gap, denying hardworking students the benefit of a technology-enriched education. “

Cities selected to be participate in ConnectHome include Atlanta, Ga., Baton Rouge, La., Macon, Ga., Memphis Tenn., New York, NY, Newark, NJ and Washington, DC. The Choctaw Nation was also selected.

Read more at The White House and The Hill.