San José mayor partners with Helium to help lower internet costs for low-income residents

San José mayor partners with Helium to help lower internet costs for low-income residents

The city of San José has announced an experimental plan on Wednesday that involves mining Helium ($HNT) tokens to pay for low-income residents’ internet access.

The San José Mayor's Office, the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) and Helium have partnered to install Helium miners throughout San José. The CETF will purchase 20 Helium miners, which the Mayor’s office will install in volunteer locations.

The CETF will then hold on to the mined HNT and convert the tokens into prepaid cash cards so low-income residents can pay for low-cost internet expenses. The collaborators expect the plan to help over 1,300 low-income San José residents over one year.

“This first-of-its-kind partnership between the Mayor’s Office, Helium, and CETF represents one of many innovative public-private partnership models that we’re advancing to bridge the digital divide for residents,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo in a statement.

Helium is a San Francisco-based startup that aims to build a decentralized, peer-to-peer internet network. The startup raised $111 million in August in a funding round led by a16z, with participation from 10T, Ribbit Capital, Alameda Research and Multicoin Capital.

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