SHA, City of Selma provides free broadband access to public housing residents

Published 1:33 pm Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Selma Housing Authority and the City of Selma are providing free broadband access to public housing residents.

Selma Mayor Darrio Melton and SHA Executive Director Kennard Randolph announced a partnership with BlackBelt Technologies, Inc.  This project is a multipurpose community based network plan that will provide network connectivity to the SHA Community Centers at its four housing areas: GWC, Felix Heights, Valley Creek, and Rangedale. It will provide broadband access to all complex residents.

Under the Smart City Initiative, the City of Selma partnered with the SHA to provide residents with wireless broadband service in the community rooms of the GWC Homes. GWC served as a pilot program under Inspire Connect Initiative, which delivers free or low-cost broadband services to low-income households and provide tablets to residents between the ages of 11 and 18.

“I am pleased today to see the success of the pilot program,” Melton said in a statement. “With over 2000 residents in the Selma Housing Authority, today I am happy to stand with President/CEO, Mr. Kennard Randolph, and the Housing Authority Board as we expand Wi-Fi broadband to every public housing complex within the City. We continue to move Selma boldly into the 21st Century.”

Randolph is also pleased with the partnership.

“As the SHA continue to improve resident services, it is imperative that our residents and their dependents have access to high-speed internet. SHA is building a technology infrastructure that will provide its residents access to apply for jobs, online training and capability to advance their academic endeavors. The Premier Housing Network Project access will be provided to the SHA residents at no additional cost to them.”

The project will continue in two separate phases:

 Phase I

Completion of providing broadband access to all complex residents.

Phase II

Implementation of the SHA Community Portal, which will provide content distribution such as Community Announcements, Community News, Resident Training (Workforce Development/Retraining Tools).