Free internet and computers with your tax dollars

December 30, 2010 08:19

Tampa Housing Authority has secured a $2.1 million federal grant to provide broadband Internet access to 23 public housing sites. The program also will help residents get computers of their own by offering 1,000 computers for only $125 and will install almost 200 computers in two communities to offer residents a designated work space.

By RACHEL PLEASANT at Tampa Tribune


The project will be the first such one in Florida and one of the few in the nation.

Internet access will be available to about 3,400 residents for free for the first two years. After two years, residents will be able to pay for the access for the next three years for $18.35 per month.

While some might view Internet access in subsidized housing as a luxury, housing authority officials don’t. They say Internet access in this day and age is a basic necessity that can mean the difference between moving out of public housing or not.

“Having access to the Internet is like having a stove or refrigerator or a phone. You can’t function without it,” said Jerome Ryans, the authority’s president and CEO. “We’ve got to break the cycle of the revolving door of public housing. We have to give them the help to get things done.”


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