Housing Authority, Huntsville City Schools initiative offers WiFi for low-income students

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Huntsville City Schools, in partnership with the Huntsville Housing Authority, have made it possible for low-income families to get internet access at home for as little as $2 a month.

The district launched the one-to-one initiative in 2012, putting a laptop in the hands of every student. The city expanded WiFi service at local rec centers and parks, and this is the next step in improving  accessibility for low-income students.

"The housing authority, they work with the families in filling out the applications to make sure they qualify for the program," said Rena Anderson, Communications Director for the district.

The Comcast program, Internet Essentials, offers WiFi for only $10 a month.  The school district, HHA, and the student's family will split the bill, with the family paying only $2 a month.

"We're trying to have the equality with resources and offerings across the board, and we know the importance of our students learning with a digital curriculum," said Anderson. "It's very important that our kids, who are already digital natives, have the access to what they need."

So far the district and HHA have sponsored 57 families in August and September.

The district is discussing the  possibility of installing community hot spots in the future, to provide WiFi for low income students who do not live in public housing.