Starry Partners with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles to Expand Affordable Broadband Access
Starry and HACLA are partnering to bring high-quality, low-cost broadband to communities who need it the most.
Los Angeles, Calif. (June 24, 2020) - Starry, a wideband hybrid fiber wireless internet service provider, today announced it is partnering with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to expand affordable broadband access to more than 600 households in Los Angeles’ Del Rey neighborhood.
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 30 mbps symmetrical speeds, all in-home WiFi equipment and installation, and personalized customer care to all its subscribers without requiring a longterm contract, pre-qualification, credit checks, or other complex eligibility criteria that are common requirements of other affordable access plans.
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. In addition to its partnership with HACLA, Starry recently expanded its low-cost access program to more than 1,000 additional households, in partnership with Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) in New York City and the Schochet Companies in Boston. Starry Connect counts the Denver Housing Authority, Innovative Housing Concepts (Englewood, Colorado Housing Authority) and the Boston Housing Authority as public housing partners.
“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. “At Starry, our goal is to break the broadband monopoly, using our technology to provide a high-quality, affordable broadband experience that helps move communities forward – not hold them back. 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.”
"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.
"I like Starry because it is a new company with faster internet that is saving me over $65 a month," said Mar Vista Gardens resident and Starry subscriber Guadalupe Ruiz. "The Starry installer was super knowledgeable and I really liked the personal involvement in setting up my internet service.”
Built in Los Angeles in the wake of the Federal Housing Act of 1949 and completed in 1954, Mar Vista Gardens was considered the highest-quality public housing project in Los Angeles when it opened. Designed by architect Albert Criz, the 43-acre site includes 601 apartment units in 62 two-story residential buildings, along with a gymnasium, community center, and athletic fields. Residents consist of a mix of families and senior citizens, with 205 seniors living on site today.
Since it was founded in 1938, HACLA has grown to become one of the nation’s largest and leading public housing authorities, providing the largest supply of quality affordable housing to residents of the City of Los Angeles. HACLA’s mission is to provide more than a place to live to the city’s residents by offering a range of educational programs and resources specifically tailored for extremely low-income individuals and families, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities.
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.
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. Starry Connect is unique in that it does not require individual subscriber qualification to participate. Starry ties eligibility directly to the public or affordable housing community to relieve the paperwork and qualification burden from the resident.
In response to the COVID-19 health crisis, Starry took the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected” pledge, voluntarily agreeing to not discontinue service to any subscriber due to nonpayment related to the ongoing health crisis. In addition, Starry also committed to providing free service to all its Starry Connect subscribers until the end of July 2020.
Starry Internet is available in Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Washington, DC and Denver, with an expansion roadmap that will cover more than 30 million U.S. households. Starry Connect officially launched in 2018 and counts the Denver Housing Authority, the Boston Housing Authority, Innovative Housing Concepts (Englewood, CO Housing Authority), Related Affordable, HCCI, and Beacon Communities as its largest public and affordable housing partners. Starry is currently available in select areas in Los Angeles. To see if your building is in coverage or to sign up, visit: https://starry.com/internet.
ABOUT STARRY, INC.
At Starry, Inc., we believe the future is wireless and that connecting people to high-speed, broadband internet should be simple and affordable. Using our innovative, next generation fixed wireless technology, Starry is 3 deploying gigabit-capable broadband to the home without bundles, data caps, or long-term contracts. Starry is a different kind of internet service provider. We put our customers first by protecting their privacy, ensuring access to an open and neutral net, and putting the customer experience at the heart of everything we do. Headquartered in Boston and backed by world-class investors, Starry is currently available in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Denver and is expanding nationwide. To learn more about Starry or to join our team and help us build a better internet, visit: starry.com.
John Collins, Mercury for Starry
Eric Brown, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles