On Monday, Alphabet’s Q4 2015 results showed that Other Bets weren’t profitable and the holding company was still leaning on other businesses to generate big revenue. The reason for Other Bets’ struggles could be because the cost of expanding Google Fiber and actually giving away its services for free, albeit the latter is for a good cause. A partnership between Google and ConnectHome, an initiative overseen by the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be bringing Google Fiber’s gigabit internet service to residents in public housing properties throughout the United States.
The program is launching first in West Bluff, a housing complex in Kansas City. All one hundred homes have been wired with Google Fiber and families living there can sign up to get free gigabit internet access. Families needing equipment like a Chromebook can make purchases through ConnectHome’s partners and get special discounts. Partners also exist to teach families how to use computers.
Google is actively working to activate Google Fiber in nine additional public housing properties in Kansas City’s metropolitan area.
Here’s part of the official announcement:
For low income families, access to the Internet can mean the difference between thriving or falling behind. It can mean more children using computers in after-school programs and STEM classes, more students going online to finish their homework, more people taking advantage of resources like Khan Academy, and more families learning basic computer skills that help them be more connected.
The overall plan is to give all public housing properties in Google Fiber-ready cities free access to the service, but Google also wants computer labs and digital literacy instructors to benefit. So the two latter types of places will also get free gigabit internet access. Google is doing all of this because of broadband’s price in the United States and the lagging of it behind other countries.