Google is committed to helping everyone get connected. As a part of the White House’s ConnectHome initiative, President Obama, with the help of Google, promised to connect 275,000 low-income homes to the internet last summer.
Google provides 100 low-income homes with free Google Fiber Internet connection
This past week, residents of the West Bluff Townhomes community in Kansas received a free 1,000 Mbps service Internet connection. According to the networking firm Akamai, most Americans receive average download speeds of around 12 Mbps.
“We’re so proud that we’re beginning this work in Kansas City,” said Erica Swanson, Google Fiber’s head of community impact programs. “We’re committed to bringing our very best service to the people who need it the most.
In Austin, Texas, Google Fiber already provides free service to low-income residents, but not at speeds like this. As a part of the bigger ConnectHome initiative, Google Fiber plans to provide free broadband to select public housing units, a value of over $1 million a year worth of Internet service to Kansas City residents alone, based on the current cost of a gigabit subscription.
Google worked with the Housing Authority of Kansas City to complete the project.
Google’s bigger goal
Although the cost for Google to create the infrastructure and give residents free Internet is huge, Google will benefit more in the long term.
The more people are online, the more likely they are to use Google’s other services, such as search, email and advertising. Plus, Google Fiber will be available for other families to subscribe to as an Internet service provider.
But, even though Google will gain from the program, the benefits are not mutually exclusive. The Internet will provide those who live in low-income communities with huge opportunities, such as the ability for school kids to be able to do homework from home, a way for job seekers to find and apply for better jobs and an avenue for budding entrepreneurs to start a business online.
This move by Google, although costly for them, will provide a harvest of rewards as more and more people take advantage of what Google has to offer. In addition, people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford the Internet will be able to benefit greatly by being connected.