A Case Study
In early 2020, COVID-19 was labeled a pandemic. By March, businesses sent employees home, and children were dismissed from school and told to learn remotely from home. While many in Central Providence had access to the internet, many others did not.
Our neighborhoods faced the highest poverty rates in Providence. COVID cases were higher here than anywhere else in Rhode Island. Only 66.1% of households in our 02909 ZIP code had internet access, compared with the citywide rate of 78.2%. Although people talked about telehealth, many local residents simply did not have the technology to see their doctors remotely. We knew we needed to act. The result was the creation of a free WiFi network in the neighborhood — ONE|NB Connects.
Here is our case study that details the project and shows its growth and improvements over time as we work to provide digital equity in Central Providence.
Fresh Fridays Event on Nov. 4, 2022
Our live, in-person Fresh Fridays event included panel discussions on digital equity and the release of our case study detailing ONE|NB’s experience installing free WiFi in Olneyville.
Our panelists and speakers included: Keith Kelly, President, Citizens Rhode Island; moderator Bill Bartholomew, Host, The Bartholomewtown Podcast; Mayor Maria Rivera, City of Central Falls; Tommy Sheehan, Resident Commissioner, Newport Housing Authority; Jennifer Hawkins, President & Executive Director, ONE Neighborhood Builders; Brian Thorn, Director of Broadband Strategy, Rhode Island Commerce; moderator Grace Evans, ONE Neighborhood Builders; David Marble, President & CEO, OSHEAN; Josh Lee, Wireless Practice Lead, Harbor Networks; Antonio A. Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Real Estate, ONE Neighborhood Builders; and Amy Walsh, Executive Director of Commercial Banking, JPMorgan Chase.