Common Networks Brings Discount Internet to Low-income Residents

Common Networks Brings Discount Internet to Low-income Residents

Common Networks, a Bay Area-based wireless Internet service provider, which began its early expansion in Alameda, is now bringing discounted connectivity to Alameda Point Collaborative (APC). As COVID-19 increases stay-at-home orders, the need for high-speed home Internet becomes increasingly critical for at-home learning, health guidelines and more. Until the partnership with Common, many APC residents were unable to access a broadband connection.

“COVID-19 has truly exposed the divide in access to basic necessities, including high-speed Internet access, across our country,” said Common Networks CEO and Co-Founder Grace Chen. “We founded Common on the belief that everyone should have a fast, accessible Internet connection, and now we’re proud to partner with APC to provide families with resources they need most.”

In addition to a general information gap due to lack of internet access, families living at APC have been faced with the “homework gap” — the difference in academic performance between students who have access to high-speed internet at home and those who don’t. While some local students have been provided with Chromebooks and mobile hotspots for e-learning, unreliable long-term connectivity may still prevent them from completing their schoolwork.

“Like many in low-income communities during these times, some members of the APC community lack access to broadband and the necessary tools to participate in online courses,” said APC Executive Director Doug Biggs. “We’re really excited for Common’s services, and our residents feel the same way.” 

Resident Debra Young was among the first to receive the new service. “What they’re doing for the kids is really great,” said Young. “My granddaughter can communicate with her teachers now, and she’ll be able to get through school to make it into the next grade.” Fellow resident Lisa Alderson said “I’m very thankful. It’s a lot better than trying to use the hotspots that were first provided by APC. With those, Zoom wouldn’t work, but now with Common it does.”

Through this partnership, APC will pay Common a reduced rate for its services. Common is currently in the process of completing the installation of rooftop hardware in 118 units in 50 buildings at APC to connect them to the internet wirelessly. 

To learn more about Common Networks, visit www.common.net. To learn more about Alameda Point Collaborative, visit: https://apcollaborative.org.