Starry Internet and Microsoft have partnered together to speed up the process of providing accessible internet connections to low-income households, starting with four public housing communities in the Los Angeles area. Additionally, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a new initiative to provide six months of free internet to new customers in those housing units. After six months, the monthly internet bill will be just $15.
This need for affordable internet has been fueled this year especially due to COVID-19. With parents working from home, children doing remote learning, and information needed to be accessed readily, there’s never been a greater need for home internet.
“COVID-19 has reinforced what was already a clear and unmistakable fact: internet connectivity is not a luxury in our time — it’s an absolute necessity for parents trying to work, students looking to learn, and families and friends seeking to communicate,” said Mayor Garcetti. “With Starry and Microsoft lending their resources and expertise, our city’s public housing residents will no longer find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide, but fully connected to their classrooms and to the opportunities of the 21st century.”
This isn’t the first time Starry has offered free internet connectivity to public housing residents. Earlier this summer, Starry began providing internet to the Mar Vista housing community free until the end of 2020. Now with more support from Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, the free access to low-cost Starry internet is expanding to four more HACLA communities in South Los Angeles: Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs, Imperial Courts, and Pueblo del Rio.
“We created Starry Connect to provide an ultra-low-cost broadband option to meet the connectivity needs of public and affordable housing communities long ignored by incumbents,’ said Chet Kanojia, co-Founder and CEO of Starry. “Our partnership with Microsoft helps us rapidly expand our Connect footprint in public housing communities and we’re proud to kick off this collaboration in Los Angeles. Closing the digital gap is a first critical step to ensuring that all our communities have the opportunity to fully participate in digital life and the benefits it confers.”