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More than 2,500 Saint Paul public housing units connected to WiFi network

Residents in public housing frequently face barriers to opportunity due to limited or no access to the Internet, but that is changing for Saint Paul Public Housing Agency (PHA) residents. At a ribbon cutting in West Saint Paul on June 11, PHA and Comcast kicked off a joint initiative to provide a WiFi connection to Xfinity's advanced network in all 16 of PHA’s Saint Paul buildings, equipping more than 2,500 units with wall-to-wall WiFi coverage.


This is Comcast’s first collaboration with a Minnesota-based housing agency to provide their residents with pre-installed, already on connectivity to its fast, reliable Xfinity network. With WiFi readily available, residents simply need to call or use the Xfinity App to activate the service that is best suited for their needs. They do not need to schedule a technician, or go to the store to get a modem or other equipment.


“We’re helping solve this critical issue that effects countless individuals and families across our nation – limited access to internet connectivity in public housing buildings in an era where the internet has become an essential part of education, employment and accessing vital services,” said Kalyn Hove, Regional Senior Vice President, Comcast Midwest.


“It’s critical that no citizen is left without this fundamental resource, and this digital divide perpetuates inequality, hindering people’s ability to participate in modern economy and a divide we cannot afford to ignore,” Hove added.


During the ribbon cutting event, Alicia Huckleby, Resident Initiatives Director and Human Resources Director for the Saint Paul PHA, shared that the PHA entering into agreements to install WiFi in PHA buildings is the culmination of almost three years of tenant and staff education, community events and planning meetings.


“We at the Saint Paul PHA never dreamed that we would have the opportunity to see every high-rise unit become WiFi ready, yet, thanks to the innovative and collaborative approach from Comcast, the individuals who call Saint Paul PHA high-rise home can now have the same WiFi access of anyone else,” said Huckleby. “We want to thank the Comcast leadership team for seeing their moment to create opportunity and then picking up the phone to act on it.”


“Internet access provides connectivity to 21st century infrastructure, equipping our residents with the tools vital to enhancing opportunities for education, employment, and quality of life," said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. "The collaboration between Saint Paul Public Housing Agency and Comcast empowers our neighbors to realize a brighter future.”


Current residents and new residents moving into WiFi ready PHA units can connect to the Internet within five minutes of collecting their keys—making it easier to get all their devices up and running. The Xfinity network will be installed in phases, with the first two buildings completed. The 14 additional PHA buildings will have WiFi ready units residents can connect to by the end of 2024.


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