Google tugs its fiber cables to the fortunate households of Kansas City, Missouri, where 1,600 underprivileged families get a chance at changing their lives for the better. Google Fiber was proud to announce on Wednesday, that they would be gracing residents of public housing properties spread across the U.S. with high-speed Internet, free of charge.
Teaming up with ConnectHome, a program of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and President Obama’s administration, Google Fiber pushes progress by setting up broadband adoption to HUD-assisted households in the spirit of benevolence. The team has had its first operation done in the West Bluff neighborhood in Kansas and is looking to benefit 275,000 families in other select cities.
Vice president of Google Fiber, Dennis Kish, posted in its official blog the vision behind the cause. “We often talk about how superfast speeds and access to home broadband can move entire communities forward. For low income families, access to the Internet can mean the difference between thriving or falling behind,” he admitted.
“It can mean more children using computers in after-school programs and STEM classes, more students going online to finish their homework, more people taking advantage of resources like Khan Academy, and more families learning basic computer skills that help them be more connected,” he adds.
The team’s move is a generous attempt at bridging the digital gap between the impoverished and the rest of the world. “The U.S. has some of the most expensive broadband in the world, while lagging far behind other countries in Internet speeds. And for families in affordable housing, cost can be one of the biggest barriers to getting online,” Kish says.
The program’s vision extends beyond providing free Internet access; it aims to reorient their beneficiaries in terms of digital literacy, and open up avenues for personal growth and economic opportunities. Google Fiber is willing to work with their local partners to make new investments in computer labs and digital literacy classes so residents learn the skills they need to get online. Consequently, connecting more people to the Internet could mean increasing revenue for Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
To have anything within one’s reach at the touch of a fingertip becomes a promising venture for keeping such a feat an exclusive, and reserved good. What Google Fiber and ConnectHome has launched, more than a grand gesture of self-interest, is an example of how much compassion and charity can go a long, and fruitful way.