States can quickly and cost-effectively close the digital divide in affordable multi-dwelling units.
20-25% of the digital divide is concentrated in affordable multi-dwelling units (MDUs). Hover over the map below to see the number of affordable apartment buildings eligible for BEAD funding by state and city. Learn about the data.
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes $45 billion in the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program and Digital Equity Act (DEA). The IIJA designates the installation of Free Apartment Wi-Fi networks in substantially unserved affordable multifamily housing as a priority broadband deployment. To seize this unprecedented funding opportunity, states must:
The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes $45 billion in the BEAD program and Digital Equity Act that can be used to install Free Apartment Wi-Fi networks. Congress established these networks as a priority broadband deployment under IIJA, and states should include funding for Free Apartment Wi-Fi in the broadband affordability plans they submit to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
BEAD requires states to connect all 9,417 apartment buildings that the FCC National Broadband Map has identified as unserved and underserved. Free Apartment Wi-Fi is the most cost-effective way to meet this requirement. In addition, there are 75,378 buildings that are eligible for the priority use of BEAD funds. EducationSuperHighway can support states with data and model language for Volume 1 of their Initial Proposals to maximize BEAD funding for Free Apartment Wi-Fi programs.
NTIA’s recent guidance recommends that states investigate the connectivity status of BEAD-eligible MDUs beyond those listed as unserved on the FCC National Broadband Map. The map identifies multifamily housing developments as one Broadband Serviceable Location (BSL), which means it does not represent broadband availability of the individual units, significantly understating the number of unserved and underserved MDUs. NTIA’s BEAD Challenge Process Policy includes a BEAD Model Challenge Process that states can adopt in its entirety to complete Volume 1 of BEAD Initial Proposals.
Our Free Apartment Wi-Fi Dashboard provides planners with state- and city-level data on the number of buildings eligible for public funding, the unconnected households and populations reached, and the estimated deployment costs. Our team also works with states to design their procurement or grant programs. Additionally, we provide technical and procurement support at the local level, assisting with the building owner and service provider outreach and developing awareness campaigns for resident adoption.
EducationSuperHighway has been piloting Free Apartment Wi-Fi networks in affordable apartment buildings and has found it to be one of the most cost-effective ways for states to close the digital divide.
Access to home internet increases the annual income of an under-resourced American household by $2,000, which is three times the $650 average cost to connect an apartment and a potential economic impact of $7.8 billion every year.
Improvements in Wi-Fi technology have made it possible to connect units in these buildings to reliable broadband service by deploying Wi-Fi access points throughout the property and then connecting the building network to a fiber connection.
Modeled after how Wi-Fi is delivered in most hotels today, Free Apartment Wi-Fi programs can connect 6.5 million unconnected people in 4 million households to reliable high-speed home internet.
We partner with states, cities, building owners, and property managers to deploy building-wide Wi-Fi through managed service solutions that are cost-effective and simple to implement for building owners and free to residents.
We partner with building owners and property managers to supportapartment Wi-Fi projects.
Connect with us about opportunities to deploy apartment wi-fi networks in your market!
See how Free Apartment Wi-Fi programs can connect 4 million households to high-speed home internet.