D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday an initiative that gives internet service providers free access to city-owned building rooftops if they provide low- or no-cost broadband services to households eligible for President Biden’s Affordable Connectivity Program.
The mayor revealed the Community Internet Program (CIP) at the Potomac Gardens Family and Senior Housing apartments in Southeast with D.C. Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker, officials with broadband provider WeLink and D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6).
“Access to high-speed internet is critical,” Bowser said in a statement. “As we stay focused on building a more connected D.C., increasing access to affordable, high-quality Internet is a big part of that work. Whenever we can use District-owned buildings to better support the community, that is a win for everyone. We’re happy that President Biden is making this issue a priority, and we plan to make D.C. a national example of what is possible.”
The Affordable Connectivity Program is the Biden administration’s program to provide inexpensive, high-speed internet to millions of Americans who don’t have easy access to broadband.
Residents interested in signing up for the ACP can do so at internet.dc.gov. Broadband providers interested in participating in CIP can sign up for that on internet.dc.gov, also.
Bowser announced WeLink as the first partner in CIP. WeLink plans to start installing hubs in Wards 5, 7 and 8, beginning in the Trinidad neighborhood in Ward 5 within a month.
“The partnership between WeLink and Washington, D.C., marks a major milestone in our efforts to close the digital divide and bring affordable gigabit-speed Internet to every household,” said Kevin Ross, founder and CEO of WeLink. “Our next-generation technology will bring best-on-the-market Internet to thousands of D.C. residents, and public infrastructure access will only accelerate our ability to deploy quickly and cost-effectively to those most in need.”