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 900 San Ysidro Families Get Free Internet Connections

​Nearly 900 families at two San Ysidro apartment complexes will soon receive free broadband internet service, thanks to the efforts of AT&T, the One Economy organization, Casa Familiar, and the San Diego County Office of Education.

The 900 families, with an estimated 3,000 family members, are residents of the Villa Nueva and Park Haven apartments, with children attending Willow Elementary, San Ysidro Middle and San Ysidro High School. A group of San Ysidro High students, known as Digital Connectors, are also being trained to provide service for the new internet users.

At a ceremony to announce the project, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Randy Ward said the potential of the families’ internet access was “almost limitless,” but he also cautioned the parents in the audience.

“It is not automatic that having internet access will create higher-achieving children,” he said. “If you are not involved, it doesn’t do anything. You need to be more involved, more attentive, and ask more questions about your children’s schoolwork.”

Funding for the project was provided by One Economy and AT&T. A significant portion of those dollars went to wiring and infrastructure at the two apartment complexes. Funding for the Digital Connectors program was provided by the City of San Diego.

Casa Familiar, a social service agency operating in San Ysidro for more than 40 years, will coordinate classes for students and families to enable them to maximize their use of the internet. Efforts are underway to provide discounted refurbished computers for the Villa Nueva and Park Haven families without them, through the Computers 2 San Diego Kids program. Half the families at the two complexes do not currently have computers in their homes, according to organizers of the project.