Tampa spends $2.8M in federal, local tax dollars on free internet


A federal stimulus program in Tampa, Fla., has spent a combined $2.8 million in federal and local taxpayer money on free internet access and computer training for less than 300 residents, reports ABC in Tampa.

The program is called AccessALL Tampa. The idea is to help low-income families get access to the Internet. But after one year and $2.8 million in local and federal dollars spent, some say the program isn’t worth it. […]

All of the residents we spoke with said they have benefited from the program. Boynton admits, however, that she can afford her own internet access. In fact, she said she is currently paying for a connection, in addition to receiving a free one from the government.

In the Tampa Housing Authority’s annual report to the federal government on the program, several challenges to the program are outlined. Among them is a "lack of interest" by residents to buy their own computers, even after receiving the training and having access to a free computer temporarily. In addition, the report states that only 292 people actually completed the computer classes. The initial estimate of the project was 1,445.

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