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Affordable housing advocates, state lawmakers unveil plan to bridge state’s digital divide

Advocates say the five-year plan would combat the issue and aim to permanently implement affordable broadband access for everyone.

News 12 Staff

Mar 11, 2022, 10:32 PM

Updated 855 days ago

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Affordable housing advocates and state lawmakers unveiled a plan they say will bridge the gap in the state's digital divide during a news conference in Brooklyn Friday. 
They say there are 384,000 housing units without internet access statewide as of Friday. 
"About 25% of adults with household incomes below $30,000 a year don’t own a smartphone, said RuthAnne Visnauskas, commissioner of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. 
This complicates accessing telehealth appointments or for school-aged children to finish homework assignments on time. 
Advocates say the five-year plan would combat the issue and aim to permanently implement affordable broadband access for everyone. 
As the co-founder of the first Black and brown-founded internet service provider, Brandon Gibson has dedicated his life’s work to providing his community the tools they need to succeed via internet access. 
"When you get access to the internet, you’re not just giving access to the World Wide Web, you’re giving people access to opportunities and resources that they wouldn’t have otherwise,” said Brandon Gibson, co-founder of FLUME.
The New York State Association for Affordable Housing is promising high-quality infrastructure and affordable internet prices to every New Yorker. 


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