Technology

Chicago Offers Free Internet, Computers to Low Income People

| by Michael Allen
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The city of Chicago is offering free or low-cost Internet access to low income people in a pilot program called "Everyoneon."

The program is based on designated zip codes and income. Families with kids, who are already receiving free or reduced school lunches, qualify automatically. Some homes are even eligible for free computers and other equipment, reports DNAInfo.com.

So far 1.1 million Chicago homes are eligible for the program.

People can go to Connect2Compete.org to check and see if their zip code falls into the eligible areas. If they don't currently have a computer, they can use one at a public library to apply for the program.

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During a press conference at the Avalon Branch Chicago Public Library on Tuesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the story of a woman named Sharon Bryant who was able to secure a job via the free internet service.

"There are more Sharons out there waiting for their chances, and they will have that chance thanks to the city partnering with others," said Mayor Emanuel.

"We used census data to determine which zip codes were eligible, and if a person lives in a zip code not eligible for free service, we would match them with an Internet provider they could afford," said Zach Leverenz, chief executive officer of Connect 2 Compete, which is behind the program.

Sources: DNAInfo.com and Connect2Compete.org