The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) has partnered with Starry, a wideband hybrid fiber wireless internet service provider, to expand affordable broadband access to more than 600 households in Mar Vista Gardens.
The expansion, part of the Starry Connect initiative, is a specialized low-cost broadband access program that partners with owners of public and affordable housing to make high-quality, uncapped, true broadband access available to residents for only $15 per month. Starry Connect provides in-home WiFi equipment and installation and personalized customer care to all its subscribers without requiring a long-term contract, pre-qualification, credit checks, or other complex eligibility criteria.
As communities across the United States continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis, Starry is prioritizing its work to expand affordable access in public and affordable housing communities across the country. Mar Vista Gardens resident and Starry subscriber Guadalupe Ruiz said, "I like Starry because it is a new company with faster internet that is saving me over $65 a month.”
“The availability of affordable broadband access is critical to ensuring that all of our communities can fully participate in our economy and in broader civic life. However, an uncompetitive broadband market has created communities of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ – leaving behind too many families that are unconnected and unable to benefit from our growing digital economy,” said Starry co-founder and CEO Chet Kanojia. “We’re thrilled to partner with HACLA to expand our Connect program to their residents and look forward to continuing to collaborate together to bring affordable internet access to more families across Los Angeles.”
Access to high-quality broadband is essential for education, communication, and personal and professional development. According to the Federal Communications Commission, more than 21 million Americans still lack access to a broadband connection in the home, and among low-income families, more than half do not have broadband at home. In fact, the Public Policy Institute of California found 45% of low-income families in the state did not have access to broadband in the home. And, among those low-income households without broadband, 25% cited affordability as a key barrier.
"The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles thrives through partnerships with forward thinking organizations like Starry and we're so excited about this collaboration. We live in a society where access to the Internet is less of a luxury and more of a necessity. The inability to connect online can be detrimental in this day and age and our residents are often among those hit hardest by this reality," said HACLA CEO Doug Guthrie.
Starry Connect is an official ConnectHomeUSA stakeholder with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is helping to bridge the digital divide for HUD-assisted housing residents in the United States.