A federal stimulus program entitled “AccessALL Tampa” is currently funding internet access for a handful of Tampa residents living in low-income households.
The program, run by the Tampa Housing Authority, is funded by $2.8 million in tax dollars. $2.1 million of that total comes from the federal government while $700,000 of local funds were added to make up the $2.8 million.
Skepticism says this might be a classic case of government spending money where it’s surely appreciated, but not vitally needed, especially in this tough economic climate.
Optimism says that this grants adults in these lower income families the tools they need to find jobs and provide their kids with helpful information and tools for schoolwork outside the classroom.
Either way, ABC Action News reports that the AccessALL Tampa program has helped around 3,500 Tampa families so far by equipping them with free computers and modems in their public housing apartments. The program also offers discounted computers and training classes created to give public housing residents access to the internet.
The Housing Authority reports, though, that the program has been faced with challenges from the start. These include a lack of interest by residents to save up and purchase their own computers even after training and having access to a free computer temporarily and a significantly less amount of people taking the free classes than expected. Since the program’s start only 292 people have attended these free classes, a significantly less amount than the 1,445 the Housing Authority estimated.
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