I get 800Mbps. Is that fast?


Who would you expect such a reaction from? Probably a rich, techie tycoon or at the very least a gaming geek? As a vendor that serves many ISP’s, I can testify that only a handful of premium customers get these speeds.

Well, not this time! This was the reaction of a “Digital Alien” in a Cleveland homeless shelter. On the first day of his digital literacy orientation, he got on the web (speedtest.net) to check the connection speed on the new Connect the Unconnected network recently installed in Cleveland.

This pilot program in Cleveland’s central neighborhood is now connecting six Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) public housing properties (including a 155 unit building), a homeless shelter, and a local charter school.

But what really blew my mind, is the way DigitalC is taking an end-to-end approach to fight digital divide: High speed Internet (and yes – 800Mb is damn fast!) is just the start – each family gets a refurbished computer to be able to use the connection and a training course to learn how to use it!

This pilot is not about a exchanging charity with PR, but about building a sustainable, scalable business and behavioral model that can (and will!) be duplicated for many thousands in Cleveland and around the United States. We, at Siklu are looking to grow our business and make money, but are beyond happy to be part of something that has a substantial social contribution by making the digital world accessible to more people, really accessible!

And yes, technology today can play a “digital equalizer” between Cleveland public housing residents and San Francisco techies. Our mmWave radios, after almost a decade of innovation, can deliver affordable multi-gigabit residential connection to building structures in cities and single family units in suburbs, and be installed within hours to few days. DSL, G.fast switches and CPE’s enable low cost in-building distribution to each unit using the existing copper or coax infrastructure.

All you need to do is harness the ready tech to the vision of the right people, get the support from the city and state authorities – and your people can get a broadband access speed every citizen in the US (and worldwide) can just envy!

About The Author
Izik Kirshenbaum
Co-Founder, Chairman, and President

Source: digitalc.org