MOOSIC, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A new project in Lackawanna County expands access to Wi-Fi to people living in low-income housing. Lackawanna County commissioners approved the project on Monday.

Moosic Meadow on Dupont Street is one of 12 public housing sections that will be getting better access to Wi-Fi, a project that’s been in the works after seeing how dependent we were on Wi-Fi connection during the pandemic.

“Internet, I use internet for my computer for the phones and basically television,” said Carl from Dickson City.

Carl lives on Veteran’s Drive in Dickson City. The quiet neighborhood is a part of the Lackawanna County Housing Authority. Many who live there are senior citizens on a fixed income. Carl says they will all benefit from the Housing Authority Wi-Fi Project.

“So with this program and the package that goes through. I don’t have to worry about, OK, I can’t pay the internet bill this month because I don’t have the money,” explained Carl.

Over in Throop, Dottie Wheatley says she’s constantly having trouble with her internet connection.

“I have connection through my Xfinity and it’s horrible, like, I have a really hard time getting it, I always lose connection,” described Wheatley.

Without reliable internet, many residents in low-income housing can’t work from home, and many children can lag behind in school. That’s why Lackawanna County commissioners approved the Housing Authority Wi-Fi Project Wednesday, program board commissioner Chris Chermak is excited to expand.

“With what goes on at the schools and some kids working from home and people working from home. It’s a necessary tool that everyone needs to have access to sort it’s good for everyone,” said Chermak.

12 housing authorities will be assisted across the county. The project costs roughly $600,000.

Brenda Sacco, director of economic development, says it’s all possible through the community development block grant coronavirus fund.

“It’s something we’re really excited about. It’s the first in the state that’s being done with the CV money,” stated Sacco.

The main cost is construction for Icon Technologies to put the access points in place. Once that’s complete this summer, dozens of low-income residents in Lackawanna County will have free access to Wi-Fi.

The goal is to continue paying for the Wi-Fi service over the years through grants. It should be up and running in about 6 months.