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Silicon Valley capital to equip low income population with internet via Helium mining

Silicon Valley capital to equip low income population with internet via Helium mining

Last updated 12th Apr 2022
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San Jose, sometimes referred to as the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” announced plans to provide low-income families with free internet access by means of mining HNT tokens on the Helium network. The city published an official press release today:

San José Mayor Sam Liccardo, in partnership with Helium and California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF), announced a first-of-its-kind, public-private partnership that minimizes financial barriers to broadband internet access for low-income San Joséans. This initiative uses HNT cryptocurrency tokens mined through Helium Hotspot devices and converted to prepaid gift cards that will go to qualifying, low-income residents to subsidize their internet plans. 

Participants get one-time payment to pay for low cost internet access

The city will give 1,300 participating households $120 to pay for a year of internet access. The mayor’s office will install 20 hotspots compatible with Helium with small businesses and volunteers in order to fund this one-time payment. These hotspots will mine HNT tokens for six months.

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Instead of relying on centralized wireless carriers, Helium develops a peer-to-peer global node network powering Internet of Things (IoT) devices. According to their site, the network includes over 200,000 nodes. Their mining equipment uses 5 watts of energy to secure long-range wireless access while generating HNT tokens. This connection works well for IoT devices. In August, the crypto company raised $111 million in a token sale.

Amir Haleem, Co-founder and CEO of Helium, said:

To democratize and decentralize the internet is the driving force behind the Helium Network and this program with the City of San José brings that mission to life. Bridging the digital divide for its citizens, and doing so through a use-case such as this shows that San José is at the forefront of how municipalities can drive real change moving forward.

The planned IoT infrastructure will improve fire detection, air quality monitoring, water leakage, and other city services. Jordan Sun, Chief Innovation Officer to Mayor Liccardo, said:

The Mayor’s Office of Technology & Innovation serves as City Hall’s venture studio leading the way in leveraging emerging technologies and business models to address some of the most pressing challenges in our community. I am excited to explore how cryptocurrencies can deliver immediate, tangible good for residents suffering from the digital divide. We need to continue pushing the boundaries and stretching our imagination of what is possible to solve systemic inequities in our community.

Daniela Kirova

Daniela Kirova

Daniela is a writer at Bankless Times, covering the latest news on the cryptocurrency market and blockchain industry. She has over 15 years of experience as a writer, having ghostwritten for several online publications in the financial sector.