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October 2, 2023

Internet company touts connectivity

WATSONVILLE — One year ago, an internet service provider launched an initiative aimed at bringing fast internet to low-income people in South County.

Charter Communications was back in Watsonville Friday to remind residents about the $14.99 per month plan – called Spectrum Internet Assist – which was created for low-income families and seniors.

This reminder took the form of a press conference in the community room of Watsonville Civic Plaza Friday morning, an event attended by such luminaries as Watsonville City Council members Lowell Hurst, Felipe Hernandez and Rebecca Garcia, and by California Assemblywoman Anna Caballero.

The company was also there ostensibly to emphasize the importance of having an internet connection in every home, vital in a time when most aspects of life are dependent on such connectivity.

According to Charter Director of Government Affairs Lisa Ludovici, some 34 million people in the U.S. do not have an internet connection in their homes, five million of whom are children.

Ludovici called these numbers “staggering.”

That problem, however, can be alleviated when companies such as Charter partner with local school districts and governments, Ludovici said.

“When we get together and ask what we can do, our power increases exponentially,” she said.

Pajaro Valley Unified School District Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez said that education has moved beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar school building to an era when students can have access to a round-the-clock digital classroom, if they have a digital device and internet connection.

As such, the district offers families a filtered version of its internet access, Rodriguez said. In addition, many have their own device assigned by their schools.

“Internet access is no longer a luxury,” she said. “It’s part of what we do. I believe it’s the equality issue of the 21st century.”


For information on Spectrum Internet Assist, visit tinyurl.com/ycbb72bp.


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