Federal program offers affordable internet to low-income Macon families

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Affordable internet access is coming to families living in housing authority homes in Bibb County. The federal government chose Macon as one of 27 cities to test the new “ConnectHome” program.

“I go to my uncle’s house. I got to ride all the way over to South Macon to do my homework,” explained 12 year-old Xavier Avram.

He isn’t alone.

“I go to my cousin’s house or I come up here to the computer lab,” said another Davis Homes resident Tytiana Rhodes.

The two children are excited because they could soon be able to do their homework at home.

“How many 10 year-olds say they want more homework? They’re excited about it so it’s going to change their lives and their families’ lives,” explained Edward Jennings, Jr. the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Region IV Regional Administrator.

Macon-Bibb County will start the program early this fall. It offers internet services to Macon Housing Authority families for $10 a month.

“It would help because I don’t have to drive all the way over there and then come back,” said Avram.

“I could just do it right at home so I won’t have to walk up here and go back home,” explained Rhodes.

With all of the technology pushed by the Bibb School District, Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones feels this is the answer to a big problem he was facing.

“It means home is no longer a variable that we have to worry about,” said Dr. Jones.

Teachers can assign students online research knowing they can complete it. ConnectHome also opens new doors in the way kids learn.

“Teachers will be able to record their class that day and then put it on the internet and students will be able to get it at home,” explained Dr. Jones.

Children aren’t the only ones who will benefit from affordable internet.

“Moms and dads who are applying for jobs in this great economy. To be able to put their resumes online, to apply for those jobs. It’s going to be trans-formative,” said Jennings.

All partners hope to bridge the gap to make sure everyone has a bright future.

The program doesn’t provide families with a computer or tablet, but one of the partners, Cox Communications, is offering devices for $30. There are a total of 1,500 tablets that include educational software available for purchase. The Macon Housing Authority also has two computer labs.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News

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