Boston Public Library is preparing to lend out wireless hotspots — free of charge — to low income residents as part of Verizon’s deal to install high-speed fiber optic cable throughout the Hub over the next five years.
“We’ll be able to target low-income Bostonians, who have limited or no access to home broadband offerings,” said Anne Schwieger, the city’s broadband and digital equity advocate. “Whether or not they can afford to pay a provider, we want to make sure the city of Boston is working creatively to come up with other avenues so people can have broadband in their home.”
Once the program begins, Boston residents with a library card will be able to borrow a mobile hotspot, a pocket-size device that uses cell service to create a portable WiFi network.
The program will be funded initially by $100,000 from Verizon, a provision of the agreement that allows the cable giant to install its Fios service across the city.