Community Tech Network is pleased to announce a generous donation of 50 NETGEAR hotspots, along with reduced-cost internet access enabled by AT&T, to accelerate the expansion of our Home Connect program. These devices will help CTN staff decrease response time for internet access and training to isolated older adults impacted by COVID-19.
When screening and enrolling Home Connect participants, CTN staff often encounter delays in securing a home internet account for them. The Home Connect learner usually needs assistance in navigating the service application process, which can be frustrating and intimidating for older learners to accomplish. Although Comcast offers the option of applying online, our digital learners without internet access capability obviously can’t use it.
Once an older adult is accepted into the program, we ship them the hotspot along with a tablet and training materials. The learner can keep the hotspot for up to six weeks, which allows time for CTN staff to assist them in establishing their home internet account. This new hotspot capability reduces the wait time between the learner’s acceptance into the program and their first online training session, increasing our capacity to serve more vulnerable older adults.
During COVID-19 virus shelter-in-place orders, the need to quickly support seniors and high-risk individuals is urgent. CTN, NETGEAR, and AT&T remain fervently committed to supporting and protecting the health of older San Franciscans.
“We sincerely appreciate these funding partners and thank them for placing their trust in Community Tech Network and our dedicated volunteer and staff team,” says Kami Griffiths, co-founder and executive director of CTN.
“NETGEAR is pleased to be able to help our communities with this donation of mobile WiFi hotspots, said
Tamesa Rogers, senior vice president of Human Resources for NETGEAR. “NETGEAR designs our products to
help simplify and improve people’s lives by enabling them to collaborate and connect to a world of information
and entertainment that can be accessed online. It is so great to learn that these hotspots are being leveraged by
the Home Connect program in the Bay Area to help educate the elder generation about the wealth of
information available online and how to connect with their loved ones during these troubling times.”
Home Connect in San Francisco is funded by the City’s Department of Disability and Aging Services.