Starry and Microsoft Team Up to Expand Low-Cost Broadband Access in Public Housing
Oct 9th, 2020
We’re excited to announce that Starry is partnering with Microsoft to accelerate the availability of Starry Connect in public housing communities across the country, starting in Los Angeles.
Microsoft, through its Airband program, is providing grant funding to accelerate construction and deployment of our innovative wireless technology in public housing. The partnership will kick off this month in the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) communities of Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs, and Imperial Courts and Pueblo del Rio. When complete, Starry Connect will be available in more than 3,600 units of housing, serving approximately 9,000 residents. We are also committing to provide six months of free service to all new Connect subscribers in these communities to encourage broadband adoption during this critical COVID-19 period.
“We built our company on the basic belief that everyone deserves access to affordable, high-quality broadband no matter where you live,” said Chet Kanojia, co-Founder and CEO of Starry. “In the United States, standalone broadband costs rank among the highest in the developed world and for many families, remains out of financial reach. If it isn’t abundantly clear by now, you can’t work and learn from home if you don’t have access to affordable, high-quality broadband. We created Starry Connect to provide an ultra-low-cost broadband option to meet the connectivity needs of public and affordable housing communities long ignored by incumbents. Our partnership with Microsoft helps us rapidly expand our Connect footprint in public housing communities and we’re proud to kick off this collaboration in Los Angeles. Closing the digital gap is a first critical step to ensuring that all our communities have the opportunity to fully participate in digital life and the benefits it confers.”
Access to affordable broadband remains critically important for supporting virtual learning, work from home and accessing telehealth resources during COVID-19. The Federal Communications Commission estimates that more than 20 million Americans lack access to broadband in the home, with lower-income Americans disproportionately impacted. Researchers from USC’s Annenberg and Price schools estimate that 1-in-4 households with school-aged kids, or nearly 250,000 families in Los Angeles County, lack access to both broadband internet and either a laptop or desktop computer.
This partnership announcement builds on Starry’s continuing work with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Telecommunications and Digital Equity Forum. Learn more about our work with HACLA here and here. Read the full press release from the LA Mayor’s office here.