New service empowers thousands of Cleveland residents with access to low-cost, reliable connectivity.
CLEVELAND, Ohio–DigitalC has teamed up with Meta to make high-speed internet available to residents of four public housing developments in Cleveland. As part of DigitalC’s mission-driven, fixed wireless internet service, EmpowerCLE+, and Meta’s efforts to help expand and improve connectivity, this partnership includes the funding, installation and delivery of fixed wireless internet services that will support more than 1,000 households with low-cost, high-speed internet.
Findings from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey revealed that Cleveland lags when it comes to residential access to broadband, ranking last among U.S. cities with more than 100,000 residents. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau shows Cleveland ranks highest for the number of residents living in poverty (30.8 percent), which includes nearly half of Cleveland’s children (46.1 percent).
“It comes as no surprise that poverty and lack of internet connectivity are intertwined,” said Sharon Jordan, DigitalC’s Interim CEO. “Access to affordable and equitable broadband on its own will not lift people out of poverty, but it can empower people to find pathways to better health, education and economic well-being. Our partnership with Meta will allow us to help bridge the digital divide in Cleveland by expanding affordable internet access to more people in need.”
Thanks to Meta’s investment, EmpowerCLE+’s high-speed internet service is now live and accessible to Hough neighborhood residents at Cuyahoga County Housing Administration’s (CMHA) Addison Square and Willson Tower, as well as CHMA’s Riverview Tower Apartments in Ohio City and Scranton Castle in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood. All four locations are in the City of Cleveland. As a result, now nearly 1,100 public housing apartments have access to affordable, high-speed internet.
“The COVID-19 pandemic proved undeniably that connectivity is a critical lifeline for any community,” said Dan Ball, Director, Connectivity Policy, Meta. “As part of our work to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together, we’re proud to have worked with DigitalC to help bring affordable, high-speed internet to more people in Cleveland.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, EmpowerCLE+ has connected more than 1,530 Cleveland households to its broadband service in the neighborhoods of Central, Fairfax, Clark-Fulton, Glenville, Hough and Buckeye-Woodhill.
“I am so grateful for the Internet access these partnerships have provided in my ward,’’ said Cleveland City Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, who represents the Clark-Fulton neighborhood. “And I know the residents are, too. It’s one step closer to digital equity for our city.”
Said CMHA Chief Executive Officer Jeffery K. Patterson: “It is clear to all that the need for internet connectivity has become increasingly more essential to all parts of society but particularly to the residents and families that reside in affordable housing developments across the county.
“With new collaborations with highly innovative companies like Meta, and ongoing partnerships with truly committed organizations like DigitalC, CMHA is well positioned to continue its efforts to help bridge the digital divide throughout Cuyahoga County, thus improving the lives of the residents and communities we serve.”