How a unique partnership is closing the Digital Divide in Jersey City’s public housing developments – one resident at a time
And the federal program that’s amplifying the impact by lowering internet cost for families
Bowling Green, KY (February 4, 2022) – Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA), Mayor Steven M. Fulop, and New Jersey based internet service provider, Andrena, are leading the way to expand broadband access to public housing residents within Jersey City. The three have embarked on an initiative to close the Digital Divide that exists in many public housing developments.
"We operate in communities all over New Jersey, and it's clear that the Digital Divide is a very real problem," said Neil Chatterjee, Co-Founder & CEO of Andrena in a recent press release. "Municipalities and housing authorities across the state have the ability to bridge this divide, and the Jersey City Housing Authority is a leader on this front. We're honored to help them achieve this vision for their residents."
The process began with JCHA putting out a bid for broadband infrastructure and high speed, low-cost internet services. Andrena ultimately won the contract and began to wire four public housing developments. As the project was underway, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, now the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provided broadband discounts to eligible households, including residents of public housing.
Through the agreement with JCHA, Andrena will provide JCHA residents with major discounts on high-speed internet service starting at $20 per month. Combined with the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, residents can access high-speed internet for very little cost or even no cost at all.
“So far the service is amazing, and the seniors in Berry Gardens appreciate the low cost if not free internet through Andrena and the FCC’s program,” said Eleanor Mixson, Resident Council President at Berry Gardens.
The project launched at the Berry Gardens Senior Housing Development, where over 350 units were able to be connected to faster, more reliable internet. Expansion of the program to three additional communities is planned for the coming months.
Programs and partnerships like this are essential to continue closing the Digital Divide in our country’s most underserved communities. For over 20 years Connection Nation has worked at the federal, state, and local level to bring digital equity into your communities and schools. The story above is a true team effort that speaks to Connected Nation’s mission, because we believe – Everyone Belongs!
About the author: Ashley Pino is a Marketing Communications Specialist responsible for communications and marketing functions that broadly publicize Connected Nation (CN)’s mission, educate stakeholders on Digital Divide issues, and lead to new programs and projects that expand CN’s social impact.