Low-income residents in Kansas City soon will have access to high-speed broadband in public housing as part of a national initiative to improve Internet access.
“I think we have a real responsibility to make sure everyone has access to the Internet and the really life-changing capabilities it can bring,” says Rick Usher, assistant city manager.
Kansas City is one of 27 cities participating in the ConnectHome Initiative, which President Obama announced Wednesday in Durant, Oklahoma.
Usher says kids who live in public housing often fall behind their peers without access to educational websites at home.
“The goal of the program is to increase economic mobility of these families and student achievement of students, anyone seeking education in public housing,” Usher says.
Usher says the program will be “all-inclusive,” providing not just broadband but devices that families can use to get online. The city is still working out the details, he says.
But Usher added public housing units could be connected quickly because Google Fiber has already built out the infrastructure needed in Kansas City.