Housing Authority secures free internet access for residents through CCNI

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Black Belt Technologies, Craig Field Industries, the Blackbelt Community Foundation and the Selma Housing Authority are partnering to create the Community Connection Network Infrastructure (CCNI).

The CCNI applications will provide streaming services, educational platforms for all ages, access to workforce development and training platforms, entertainment, and expanded telecommunication capabilities.

“We’re thrilled to announce that we are bringing the future of connectivity to our public housing residents. With the introduction of free dark fiber internet access and live streaming service, we’re empowering our communities to stay connected, informed, and entertained like never before,” Selma Housing Authority CEO Kennard Randolph said.

Email newsletter signup

Selma’s Mayor, James Perkins, Jr. said he is pleased with the transaction.

“I am personally ecstatic and grateful for the opportunities this dark fiber model will provide to eligible Selma residents,” Perkins said. “The eligible residents will be able to access this infrastructure throughout the Selma Downtown Business District. This is a great example of how middle-mile and last-mile initiatives can come together to provide high-quality broadband access that augments professional and personal growth. As always, I commend the great leadership provided by our local partners at the Selma Housing Authority led by CEO, Mr. Kennard Randolph.”

Toni Green, the vice president of finance and human resources of Black Belt Technologies, said Selma was the ideal place.

“Selma is ground zero for this philanthropic effort.,” Green said. “We chose Selma specifically because of long-lasting relationships, and we acknowledge the absorbent deficiency in internet connectivity. COVID-19 showed us that the Internet is critical for us to grow and thrive, and we are honored to launch this model in this community where it is most needed as we work to build this model throughout rural Alabama.”

Black Belt Technologies CEO Wayne Green designed the model.

“This project has been in the works for years,” Green said. “The areas of lack are connectivity and communication, and we are making the investment to address these issues. We moved into Craig Field about three years ago, and our goal since then has been to serve as the catalyst to spur growth. We decided to bring dark fiber directly to the residents of the housing authority as well as to the residents of the Selma community specifically.

“Our charter is directly to the underserved residents of the state. We want to deploy affordable, high-quality broadband access specifically for those residents. Once the infrastructure is in, we can build and branch-out into Dallas County and other rural communities. We are walking in our calling. We are ready. We are anxious. We are excited!”

Randolph thanked Black Belt Community Foundation Felecia Lucky for her contribution.