Bronx Rep. Ritchie Torres and other political figures unveiled the completion of a major community-owned WiFi installation in two NYCHA housing projects in the Bronx.
Starting Monday, nearly 2,500 residents of the Melrose and Courtlandt Avenue housing developments began having access to a high-quality, low-cost broadband alternative via a community-owned WiFi mesh network created, installed and maintained by a coalition of BlocPower, People’s Choice Communications and Metro IAF—but governed by the residents. The coalition has three other Bronx NYCHA projects to upgrade, potentially reaching a combined 10,000 residents.
An estimated 38% of the Bronx has no in-home broadband access, making it one of the most inequitable places in the U.S. for the digital divide. The installation is part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Internet Master Plan to close the digital divide in the city’s most underserved neighborhoods.