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Chapel Hill to bring free Internet to public housing

Posted May 8, 2015

Chapel Hill announced a new project on May 8, 2015, to provide high-speed Internet for residents of public housing by the end of the year.
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— The town of Chapel Hill Friday announced a new program to offer free high-speed Internet to residents of public housing.

The program will roll out to eight of the town's 13 public housing neighborhoods by the end of the year, bringing AT&T U-verse connections with speeds of up to 3 Mbps for five years. The company is participating in the program as part of an agreement with the N.C. Next Generation Network, an initiative of several municipalities and research universities, and will provide service at no cost to the town.

"The Internet brings the world into your living room, and bridging the digital divide and bringing internet to everyone has been an important part of the goals we’ve set for our community," Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said during a news conference Friday.

Once the units are wired for the Internet services, residents will be able to call AT&T to sign up through a special call in number the town and company will announce later.

Residents of Chapel Hill public housing ages 14 and up can also get a free, refurbished laptop if they complete a four-part computer training class with the nonprofit Kramden Institute. The courses will cover a range of topics including computer basics and standard office programs.

Kleinschmidt said having access to the Internet is vital for education and job creation. A survey by the town last year of public housing residents with school-aged children found one in four households reporting not having Internet access at home.

"I’m not standing here with a banner behind me that says 'mission accomplished.'" We all know that. And it doesn’t meet all the needs of the people in low-income areas of our town, whether public housing or elsewhere," Kleinschmidt said. "But we will go further, because we need to expand opportunities for education, research and job creation and drive economic growth."

37 Comments

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  • Margaret Anne May 10, 2015
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    What is the incentive to work these days, if you chose not to work you get reduced rent, free phones, and food stamps. You can get some assistance with your light bill and maybe lucky enough for medicaid. Now starting in Chapel Hill....free internet. Really.....all that is left is free cable. I go into homes....hardly any chairs ...or beds...but if there is nothing else there most have at least a 45 inch flat screen TV housed in there with either cable or satellite. Often there is a pretty good vehicle in the yard too.. Hell, why would any one want to go to work...just sit on your but and do nothing....and her you go...free internet.. Then you complain about your self esteem problems.....really...try working two jobs...just to keep a roof over your head...this makes me sick to my stomach. Stop handing out to lazy folks.....they wouldn't know a 20 hour work week...if you gave that to them too.

  • Mike C May 9, 2015
    user avatar

    So, if you're on welfare and getting free housing you also get free internet while those of us working have to pay for it. Now, what's wrong with this picture?

  • David Bunn May 9, 2015
    user avatar

    And the welfare crowd grabs another piece of the pie.

  • Patrick Demby May 9, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Character. Overcoming challenges.

    2 things liberals don't like. It's much easier to "redistribute" wealth from people who "have too much" of it.

    Question this? Well, you, my friend, are a mean, racist Republican. Shame on you.

  • Jamal Jensen May 9, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    I agree. I'm not worried about their freebies - as long as it doesn't come out of my pocket.

    As far as being disadvantaged - everyone except very few people have some sort of disadvantage. There will always be young people that have much greater chances of getting into the best universities - Harvard, Yale, MIT, etc. than most others.

    LIFE IS NOT FAIR. There will always be disadvantaged. It's a fact that can never change. We all just do the best that we can and work as hard as we can with the resources available to us. The greater the obstacle, the sweater the victory. Overcoming those challenges is what builds something called CHARACTER.

  • Brian Jones May 8, 2015
    user avatar

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    OK, Louis St. Lewis is a nationally acclaimed artist with exhibit viewings in Chapel Hill. The poster using this name is a UNC college girl, and way probably not paying 18,000 bucks a year in property taxes. Way not. He/she would have to have the largest house on Franklin St. (like maybe the FITCH HOUSE). She already commented in other threads about "meeting a cute guy for lunch". Fraud. Total fraud.

  • Brian Jones May 8, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    By the way Louis St.Louis is the writer of several hit songs of the 1970s,....the comment poster using this name is a UNC college girl, about 20 years old by my guess, and not paying 18,000 a year in taxes on property,

  • Brian Jones May 8, 2015
    user avatar

    The schoolkids need to be able to go online and research for their school assignments. Otherwise, they are at a disadvantage to other classmates.....In this instance, stop worrying about the freebies their parents are getting.

  • Jamal Jensen May 8, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Your comments show your lack of reading comprehension skills and your class envy. Mr. St. Lewis agrees with the program and HE IS PAYING A BIG CHUNK OF THE BILL. And he's not complaining about it.

    You need to learn about how the world works and grow up.

  • Joseph Shepard May 8, 2015
    user avatar

    yet another "gimmie" to be paid for by the ever shrinking number of working taxpayers.

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