SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Department of Technology received the 2019 CIO 100 Award for supplying 1500 low-income families within the city with free, high-speed internet.

The “Fiber to Housing” program works to provide internet access to families and individuals in San Francisco, who would not have access to a personal computer network due to their income. It is a collaboration with Mayor London Breed, the Office of Housing and Community Development, and the local internet service provider founded in 1998, Monkeybrains. The program first started in 2018 and has been working to close the city’s “digital divide” ever since.

The Annual CIO 100 Award honors 100 companies and businesses, as well as the individuals within them, who are utilizing Information Technology (IT) by “creating competitive advantage, optimizing business processes, enabling growth, and improving relationships with customers.”

“Providing low-income families with access to high-speed internet is about equity, and ensuring every family in our City has access to the resources they need to pay their bills, connect with City services, or do their homework. We believe that every person deserves an opportunity to thrive, and the Department of Technology’s Fiber to Housing program helps achieve that goal by closing the digital divide and providing fast and reliable internet access,” said Mayor Breed.

According to the Board of Supervisors report on the digital divide in San Francisco, only 76 percent of San Franciscans indicated that they use computers and only 64 percent noted that they use the internet. The report also identifies race, level of education, and income have a major impact on individuals use of the internet.

“It’s truly an honor to receive this recognition for our Fiber to Housing project,” stated Linda Gurell, the City Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of the Department of Technology. “Bridging the divides in internet access and digital literacy is crucial to achieving San Francisco’s goal of digital equity, and I’m thrilled to accept this award on behalf of the City family.”