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Five Seattle Housing communities to receive free WiFi for two years

Agency partnering with non-profit
One Economy to provide free Internet

SEATTLE — August 9, 2010 — The Seattle Housing Authority is partnering with non-profit One Economy Corporation to provide free access to wireless Internet for two years to some of its communities. Thanks to $28.5 million awarded by federal stimulus dollars to One Economy and $23 million in matching partnership funds, the nonprofit is able to further their mission of improving the lives of low-income people through the power of technology.

The global nonprofit, along with the Broadband Opportunity Coalition (BBOC), seeks to provide Internet access to underserved communities as a way of propelling those communities into the economic mainstream.

Seattle Housing communities to be served in this project include Denny Terrace, Yesler Terrace, Rainier Vista, High Point and NewHolly.

“The first two years of service will be free to renters in those properties,” said John Forsyth, Community Services Administrator. “After the first two years, families will have the option to pay $10 per month to continue the service.”

The network provided will be a wireless, shared network designed for delivering download speeds up to 1 Mbps. Technical assistance for network-related issues will be made available via a toll-free phone number. Local assistance may also be available as part-time Community Technology Assistant positions are budgeted to come on board for participating residences.

Residents of participating communities can expect to receive a short survey in the mail that will help Seattle Housing and One Economy determine the current technology needs of the communities.

One Economy takes several measures to ensure the safety of their networks but encourages every user to protect their personal computers with anti-virus, spyware and safety software each of which can be downloaded for free. To date, One Economy has brought affordable broadband to more than 375,000 Americans. For more information about One Economy, visit http://www.one-economy.com.

More details on this project will be shared with residents as they become available.