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Low-cost Internet for Residents Moves Forward

Sep 21, 2023

Cleveland  (Sept. 21, 2023) - Council’s Utilities Committee today passed legislation, moving the city closer to ensuring all residents will have access to the internet at a cost of $18 a month through DigitalC. The legislation must still be passed by Finance, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee before going to a full vote of Council. 

However, Councilman Brian Kazy, who chairs the Utilities Committee, and other council members amended the legislation in significant ways to ensure that the funding is only approved based on performance. DigitalC must meet annual performance-based metrics in signing up customers and keeping them before receiving funding each year. 

“There were many questions and concerns I and other council members had that needed to be allayed before providing city funding,” Councilman Kazy said. “I’ve worked over the past several months to ensure the legislation, which was introduced earlier this year, answers those concerns.”

Council had set aside $20 million in revenue recovery funding nearly two years ago towards impacting the digital divide in the city of Cleveland. Cleveland is considered one of the worst connected big cities in the country and that issue was exacerbated during the pandemic when many school-aged children didn’t have access to the internet to keep up with their school work while learning remotely. The legislation moved forward today, is in response to that issue.

“I commend Councilman Kazy for his diligence and work on this legislation in understanding the issues and adding in measures that ensure funding is based on performance,” Council President Blaine A. Griffin said. “Councilman Kazy and the Utilities Committee members took their time on this legislation, and today had an in-depth conversation and made some important amendments. I look forward to hearing this piece in the Finance, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee soon.”