PHA Collaborates with T-Mobile to Provide Free Tablets and Internet to Philadelphia Families
David Bezzant, Senior Director, Public Sector for T-Mobile
@Work (far right) joined PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah
(center) at West Park Apartments resident during a special event to
announce a partnership between the company and the housing
authority. T-Mobile will provide 4,500 public housing families and
students with tablets and access to the company's high-speed 4G LTE
network. Also present for the event were (l-r) resident council
vice president, Frederina Tynes, PHA Commissioner Asia Coney,
and Couuncilwoman Jannie Blackwell.
PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah (left)
joined David Bezzant (right), Senior Director, Public Sector for
T-Mobile @Work, as part of a partnership with T-Mobile to provide
4,500 public housing families and students with tablets and access
to the company's high-speed 4G LTE network. The special event took
place at PHA's West Park Apartments in West Philadelphia on St.
Patrick's Day where the first 300 devices were handed out.
(Philadelphia, PA - March 17, 2017)-The
Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) today announced a partnership
with T-Mobile to provide 4,500 public housing families and students
with a free tablet and access to T-Mobile's high-speed 4G LTE
network. Today the first 300 devices were handed out to all
families of the West Park Apartments at a PHA Community Day event,
where information to help residents access other available services
and organizations was made available.
As part of this program to ensure that more public housing
families have internet access, another 333 residents enrolled in
PHA's Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program at other locations will
also receive tablets and internet. The FSS program assists
residents on the road to employment and in being less dependent.
PHA plans to expand this resource to more families from across the
agency's housing portfolio throughout this year.
PHA and T-Mobile are participating in the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) ConnectHome initiative to
close the digital divide in America and to extend affordable
broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing.
Through ConnectHome, internet service providers, non-profits and
the private sector are offering broadband access, technical
training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in
assisted housing units. ConnectHome creates a platform to help
ensure that students have access to high-speed internet for
studying and doing their homework at home, as well as in
"This partnership is so critical because it removes one of the
many barriers that PHA residents encounter. In this digital
age, access to the Internet both at school and at home is
essential," said PHA President & CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah. "These
residents will now be able to connect with resources and
opportunities right in their home without another financial
hardship. I would like thank HUD for this initiative and T-Mobile
for making this a reality for some of the city's most vulnerable
"The Un-carrier is all about breaking down barriers and
unleashing the power and promise of the mobile internet for
everyone," said Mike Sievert, Chief Operating Officer at T-Mobile.
"So we're incredibly proud to be working with great partners like
ConnectHome and the Philadelphia Housing Authority to get devices
and mobile access into the hands of thousands of families and
students-and all on the nation's fastest 4G LTE network."
In 2016, when ConnectHome was announced PHA committed $250,000.
PHA has a history of making investments in technology for
residents. PHA has received grant funding and partnered with the
City of Philadelphia, Drexel University, Wilco Telecommunications
Company, and other organizations to expand broadband access to PHA
The kick- off event was held at West Park Apartments because it
is a part of the Promise Zone, a federal program that aims to
reduce poverty and bring greater opportunity to people living and
working in West Philadelphia. The initiative helps organizations
work together to connect residents to high quality education,
well-paying jobs, affordable housing, health services, and safe,
economically healthy places to live.
Prior to the partnership with T-Mobile, PHA and its
partners installed WiFi broadband Internet access at four
developments, offered Internet service at low or no cost to
residents, and provided laptops and computer training to residents.
The housing authority also operates 15 computer labs at its housing