NEW YORK - Verizon Avenue, a subsidiary of Verizon, and national nonprofit One Economy Corporation announced today that they've signed an agreement to work together to put affordable high-speed Internet access into the homes of many low-income Americans.
One Economy will target affordable housing developers to integrate broadband access into multi-family properties throughout Verizon's service area of 29 states and the District of Columbia. Verizon Avenue will work with One Economy as well as developers to build infrastructure and find low-cost Internet access solutions. One Economy and Verizon initially will focus their efforts on new affordable housing projects of at least 100 units. Both are already negotiating with some of the country's largest such developers in New York and along the East Coast.
One Economy's expanded relationship with Verizon Avenue, which is a corporate partner in the nonprofit's national Bring IT Home public policy campaign, is the latest step in One Economy's efforts to bring high-speed Internet connectivity into low-income homes across America. Currently, One Economy is working in 16 states, including eight major markets, to lower the cost of broadband by consulting on the design of data networks for affordable housing.
"Our partnership with Verizon not only delivers a complete Internet access solution to an untapped, underserved market, but it also brings together the telecom and affordable housing industries as never before," said Rey Ramsey, CEO of One Economy Corporation. "Low-income families have shown that they're willing to invest in and use technology if given access. Verizon's willingness to explore new territory enables us to supply that access in quantity at a price that's truly affordable for families living in low-income housing.
"Finally, there can be a wholesale narrowing of the technology gap between the haves and the have-nots," Ramsey continued. "Research shows that low-income people are more likely to use the Internet to improve their standard of living than higher-income people. This unprecedented access throws open the door for underserved people to help their families, their kids and themselves - in areas ranging from education to health care."
Bill Wallace, CEO of Verizon Avenue, said, "Verizon joins with One Economy to bring advanced technologies to all of our customers through creative partnerships like this one. Our goal, in cooperation with One Economy and developers of affordable housing, is to provide broadband access at affordable prices. We think this is good public policy and good business. Our current business model, with the scale, term and penetration guarantees offered by developers - combined with One Economy's expertise in the affordable housing market - enables us to offer affordable broadband services. With this partnership, we see a sustainable business model that will make the Internet accessible to thousands more households in the coming years."
One Economy's core target market is the approximately 12 million people living in 5 million units of government-subsidized rental housing, approximately 44 percent of the total number of people living in affordable housing in the United States. One Economy and Verizon anticipate impacting a significant share of the 200,000 new low-income apartments built each year. Looking to the future, the partners also are studying the feasibility of expanding this concept to tribal environments as well as to rehabilitated properties.
About Verizon Avenue
Verizon Avenue, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, bundles local and long-distance service together with high-speed Internet access for residents of multifamily communities. Verizon Avenue offers service to high-rise properties, apartments and condominium communities in most of the major metropolitan markets including Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa and Washington, D.C. For more information about Verizon Avenue, visit www.verizon.com/avenue.
About Verizon Communications
A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
About One Economy Corporation
One Economy Corporation is a national nonprofit founded in 2000 that utilizes technology to help low-income people improve their standard of living. One Economy's strategy is to bring technology into the home, provide online multilingual content through The Beehive (www.thebeehive.org), and facilitate computer literacy. One Economy's recently launched national Bring IT Home campaign promotes state-level public policy change to make high-speed Internet connectivity a standard practice. Honorary Co-Chairs Majority Leader Senator Bill Frist and Minority Leader Senator Tom Daschle serve as Bring IT Home national campaign leaders. More information about One Economy, Bring IT Home and its other programs and partners may be found at www.one-economy.com.