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Free High Speed Internet Coming To Public Housing In West Dayton

computer circuitry

More than a thousand people in Dayton will have new access to high-speed internet by the end of the year. It’s thanks to a coalition called The Dayton-Montgomery County Digital Equity Initiative.

In addition to high-speed internet, nearly 900 Chromebook laptops will be given out to residents living in five Dayton public housing communities, including Desoto Bass, Park Manor, Wilkinson Plaza, Westdale Terrace, and Fitch and Hawthorn.

CareSource, the Dayton-based health plan provider, is just one of several organizations partnering for the initiative.

Amy Riegel is CareSource’s Director of Housing. She says the services will be available at no cost.

"They can do homework, look for employment or maybe even work from home, and then also be able to do things like order groceries online or be able to go to a doctor's appointment - Those really essential services that we've all started doing more frequently online during the pandemic," she says.

Because it’s considered an integral part of these five housing communities, the Boys & Girls Club of Dayton (BGCD) will also benefit from fiber upgrades and firewall protected Wi-Fi and state-of-the-art security cameras.

CareSource is providing $400,000 as the project gets started, and Montgomery County has also provided a $2 million CARES Act grant. More than a dozen public and private groups are joining to keep it running long-term.

The Digital Equity partners include:

Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, City of Dayton, Dayton Public Schools, Dayton Development Coalition, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Dayton Power & Light Company, CityWide, Techknowvate, Montgomery County Educational Service Center, Dayton Children’s Hospital, Five Rivers Health Centers, Technology First, Montgomery County, Greater Dayton Premier Management, CareSource, and Cincinnati Bell Inc.

Professional Cabling Solutions (PCS), and Tyco Cloud Services are contributing a firewall, access points, monthly service, and access control.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.