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September 8, 2021

Awards Recognize Organizations Connecting Communities with Wi-Fi in Innovative Ways

Washington, D.C. – Today, ONE Neighborhood Builders was named a 2021 Wi-Fi At Work Award by WifiForward, a coalition of companies, organizations and public sector institutions working to keep communities connected over the internet.

WifiForward’s Wi-Fi At Work Awards recognize organizations that have kept communities connected via Wi-Fi during this time. ONE Neighborhood Builders was specifically recognized for ONE|NB Connects, its free community WiFi project that the organization launched in 2020 amid the pandemic to reach over 1000 households in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence, RI who struggled to access the internet for school and work connections.

WiFiForward awarded a total of 16 awards.

“We are honored to receive this award from WiFiForward, which recognizes our project for addressing the Digital Divide in the community,” said Jennifer Hawkins, ONE|NB Executive Director. “The COVID-19 outbreak made clear that, without reliable internet, children couldn’t attend remote classes and parents couldn’t get telehealth services. Internet access in all neighborhoods, regardless of socioeconomic realities, is essential and not simply a convenience.”

“Wi-Fi is a literal lifeline,” said Ellen Satterwhite, spokesperson for WifiForward. “So many organizations found creative ways to bring this lifeline to more people when they needed it most. These Wi-Fi At Work Awards recognize these remarkable organizations. On behalf of all our coalition members, we are pleased to honor this vital work to connect our communities.”

In the past year, COVID-19 completely transformed our way of life, from how we work to how we go to school and everything in between. WiFi has emerged as an essential service for all Americans, allowing millions of Americans to sustain jobs, drive business, keep students educated and maintain social bonds amidst a once-in-a-generation pandemic.


About ONE Neighborhood Builders

ONE Neighborhood Builders is a nonprofit community development leader in Rhode Island that is expanding its work to the broader Greater Providence area while maintaining its deep roots in its historic home of Olneyville. ONE|NB’s mission is to develop affordable housing and engage neighbors to cultivate healthy, vibrant, and safe communities. Since its founding in 1988, then as Olneyville Housing Corporation, ONE|NB has developed 458 affordable apartments; 130 for-sale homes for low- to moderate-income homebuyers; and nearly 35,000 square feet of commercial and community space—totaling more than $134 million of investments. ONE|NB created the first free community wireless network in Rhode Island; is the convenor of the Central Providence Health Equity Zone, which brings together residents, community organizations, health professionals, and others to address root causes of health disparities; and is the backbone organization of Central Providence Opportunities, a collective-impact  initiative to increase economic mobility for residents in Central Providence.

About WifiForward
WifiForward is an ad hoc, broad-based group of companies, organizations and public sector institutions working to alleviate the Wi-Fi spectrum crunch and to support making Wi-Fi even better by finding more unlicensed spectrum. For more information on WifiForward including a full list of coalition members, visit the website at