December 8, 2014
Last month, it was reported that New York City’s free Wi-Fi kiosks would work to benefit those in higher-income areas of the city, where there is less of a need for access to affordable, high-speed Internet. Well, in some good news for the city, Google has pledged $1 million to help provide access to high-speed Internet in NYC through the city’s public library system.
Earlier this year, the New York Public Library was awarded a $500,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to support a program that aims to provide high-speed Internet access to 10,000 NYC households. The project, which began earlier this year and targeted just 100 households, allows New Yorkers to borrow portable Wi-Fi hotspot devices from the NYPL, giving them free Internet access that would normally cost about $50 per month.
The pledge from Google will include money to pay for data connections for 10,000 households through the Spring network, as well as 500 Google Chromebook laptop devices that will distributed to young people in the city. Unlike the city’s plans for the free Wi-Fi kiosks, the initiative by NYPL actually aims to truly benefit lower-income people in the city.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said on numerous occasions how important it is to provide affordable broadband Internet access to all five boroughs of the city, yet very little has been done to turn those words into reality. Under the initiative set forth by the New York Public Library, Internet access will become immediately available to those who need it.
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