HARTFORD – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) today applauded the selection of Meriden by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as one of 27 ConnectHome communities nationwide establishing new partnerships to expand broadband access to low-income families.

As part of HUD’s Digital Opportunity Demonstration Program, Meriden will partner with Cox Communications to provide low-cost broadband internet to public housing residents.

ConnectHome brings together communities, the private sector, and the federal government to expand high speed broadband to families across the country. The pilot program is launching in 27 cities and one tribal nation and will initially reach over 275,000 low-income households – and nearly 200,000 children – with the support they need to access the Internet at home. Internet Service Providers, non-profits and the private sector will offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units.

“You can't succeed economically today if you don't have Internet access, and way too many Connecticut families are being held back because they cannot afford to connect online. I’m so excited that Meriden will be one of just twenty-seven communities across the country to launch this new partnership of public support and private investment. It’s collaborative initiatives like these, along with the passage of my Broadband Adoption Act, that will help expand access to high-speed Internet for families around Connecticut and across the country,” Murphy said.

“In communities like Meriden nationwide, access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury, but a basic necessity for job applicants, students and individuals seeking access to basic banking and other services. As one of only 27 ConnectHOME partnerships selected nationwide, Meriden and Cox Communications have a powerful opportunity to demonstrate what communities and businesses working together can do to close the digital divide. I welcome HUD’s attention to this important issue, and look forward to supporting Meriden’s groundbreaking efforts,” Blumenthal said.

“At home access to broadband Internet is essential to ensure that our children have the technology skills they need to keep up with their peers and succeed in the 21st Century,” Esty said. “Unfortunately, what should be a necessity is a luxury for too many low-income families. I commend President Obama, Secretary Castro, and Cox Communications on this outstanding initiative that will allow Meriden families to break through the digital divide and position our children for educational success.”