PROVIDENCE – A $10,000 grant from Tufts Health Plan is helping ONE Neighborhood Builders create a wireless network over the city’s Olneyville neighborhood.
ONE Neighborhood Builders recently launched a fundraising campaign for the project, which is intended to provide more than 1,500 households with free Wi-Fi.
As the COVID-19 health crisis continues, public spaces such as libraries and community centers that offer Wi-Fi in the Olneyville neighborhood have remained closed, resulting in the loss of internet access for many residents, said Jennifer Hawkins, executive director of ONE Neighborhood Builders.
“What may have been considered a convenience before the pandemic is now accepted as crucial for learning, working, socializing and accessing important services,” Hawkins said. “We thank Tufts Health Plan for their leadership on this issue, as their contribution will enable us to continue to our important work to ensure all Rhode Islanders have equal access.”
An increase in working from home, along with remote learning for some students, has made internet access indispensable, pointed out Domenic Delmonico, executive director of Rhode Island Medicaid at Tufts Health Plan.
“The COVID-19 crisis has only exacerbated the digital divide and made us aware of the vast inequities that exist in our communities. This collaboration with ONE/NB is just one small way we can offer support to those who need it most,” Delmonico said.
Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.
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