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How a Local Government Provided Community Broadband to Residents

The coronavirus pandemic brought about many changes in 2020 and caused tremendous strain on state and local governments. One community in Virginia was able to leverage the CARES Act to make a positive impact for their residents. The City of Hopewell, located about 25 miles from Richmond, Virginia, is home to ~4000 low- and moderate-income students, many living in low-income areas.

When the pandemic hit, students suddenly found themselves attending school virtually. Unfortunately, many of the students did not have easy access to internet, a necessary tool for remote learning. These students would go outside their homes, find a hot spot, download their assignments, go back inside to complete the assignment, then back to the hot spot to upload their work to the school. This unsustainable practice left these students in jeopardy of falling behind.

Dr. Concetta Manker, Hopewell’s IT Director, had long ago identified the city’s need for readily available internet. Over the course of two years, Dr. Manker had slowly begun making progress towards this goal but had not yet achieved it when the lockdown occurred. Overnight, the residents of Hopewell needed internet.

Through the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Dr. Manker was able to secure the funding necessary to make her lofty goal a reality. But only if she moved quickly.

Dr. Manker contacted TPx through one of our channel partners. In the height of COVID precautions, TPx acted quickly to provide an accurate scope on requirements and resources without a customary site visit. TPx was able to produce an accurate quote, sight unseen, using satellite imagery and a deep understanding of the community’s time constraints and needs.

“TPx understood our vision and delivered against it with precision and velocity,” said Dr. Manker. “Their willingness to work within the tight timeframe, ability to move quickly and willingness to accelerate implementation confirmed they were the right partner for the City of Hopewell. The TPx team was confident and eager to deliver, which is what we needed in an IT partner.”

TPx created a new network to extend Wi-Fi into five public housing communities, which provides public access to reliable and secure Wi-Fi 24-hours a day. With all five locations deployed, over 3,000 total families benefit from Municipal Broadband access, enabling remote learning or working opportunities.

As students begin to return to the classroom, this project will have lasting implications for distance learning, remote work and even local business support. Read the full case study to learn more about how TPx helped the City of Hopewell provide internet access to their residents through funding from the CARES Act.

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