Pictured from left: Angela Medina, Fr Sean Mcgillicuddy, Ritchie Torres, Bernard Smith
On Monday, November 29, 2021 over 100 Metro IAF public housing leaders and allies from the Melrose and Courtlandt houses, other projects and the surrounding community joined with our partners at Bloc Power and Peoples Choice Communications, as well as Congressman Ritchie Torres, to celebrate the installation of affordable community Wi-Fi at the Melrose houses. Thanks to this partnership all 1,244 families who live in the Melrose and Courtlandt Houses can now get Internet at no cost if they sign up for the Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit, as well as a laptop for only $11.
“Internet access is no longer a luxury, it's a right and a necessity,” said Fr. Sean McGillicuddy, Pastor of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church and a leader with Metro IAF. “Hundreds of my parishioners live in the Melrose and Courtlandt houses, and I’m thrilled that we have been able to work with key partners like BlocPower, PCC, and Representative Torres to help them and their neighbors get access to high-quality internet they can afford.”
“When school was closed because of the pandemic, many children in our community couldn’t get to their classes because the internet was too expensive or the signal wasn’t good enough,” said Angela Medina, a Melrose resident working with Metro IAF, PCC, and BlocPower to reach out and educate her neighbors about the program. “I’m proud to help ensure no one ever has to go through that again, and I am excited about the new lower price for Internet access, which will help so many people to afford things like food, medicine and other necessities.”
Thanks to the work of Metro IAF and our partners, the same service is also available to an additional 400 families in other low-income and supportive housing buildings in the Bronx. We are currently working to:
- sign up everyone who is eligible,
- begin installation in two more New York City Housing Authority developments, and
- find other opportunities to expand this network to people living in other low and moderate-income housing.
PIX 11 (11/29) Hundreds of Bronx NYCHA residents get free wi-fi, $11 laptops — and program is expanding.
NewsBreak (11/29) Hundreds of Bronx NYCHA residents get free wi-fi, $11 laptops — and program is expanding; syndicated from WPIX
Broadband Breakfast (11/30): New York City Broadband Housing Initiative Gets First Completed Project
New York Amsterdam News (12/2): Community-owned WiFi completed in two Bronx NYCHA developments
Bronx Free Press (12/2): “A bigger and stronger network” (Also available in Spanish: “Una red más grande y más fuerte”)
Manhattan Times News (12/2): “A bigger and stronger network” (“Una red más grande y más fuerte”); syndicated from Bronx Free Press
Bronx 12 (11/29) Wi-Fi installed for residents at 2 NYCHA complexes in the Bronx