City Looks to Free WiFi Services for CHA Properties

The city and the Chelsea Housing Authority are working to bring free WiFi service to CHA residents.

CHA Executive Director Paul Nowicki is working with the city’s IT department to launch free WiFi in CHA housing properties, according to City Manager Fidel Maltez.

“As you can imagine, paying a provider, whether it be Comcast or somebody else, can be expensive,” said Maltez. “With the Covid pandemic, we saw that a lot of our children, in particular, could not have access to reliable internet. That is an education gap, that is a performance gap that we are trying to close.”

Ramon Garcia, Chelsea’s Chief Information Officer, and the city’s IT department have been working closely with the CHA to develop free public WiFi.

“It is going to be launched in one of the Prattville properties where each resident is going to have free WiFi,” said Maltez. “It is going to be individual to each unit, it is going to be just like service provided by Comcast.”

The goal in 2024 is to roll the service out to all Chelsea Housing Authority properties.

“It will not only provide a cost benefit to the residents, but it bridges the gap, particularly for our children that simply do no have access to reliable WiFi,” said Maltez.

Maltez noted that internet accessibility is crucial for education in the city, as even the youngest students do homework and other school work on computers and the Google platform.

“I cannot imagine how difficult it is for some of our children who do not have access to devices, but also reliable internet,” said Maltez.

The city manager also noted that utility costs overall can place a heavy burden on residents with limited income.

Last year, Revere and the Revere Housing Authority launched a similar program in conjunction with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to provide free WiFi in RHA apartments for residents in that city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *