NEW YORK – The New York Public Library is launching the nation's largest Internet lending program, which provides 10,000 free hot spots to some of the city's poorest residents.
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It's helping close the digital divide between haves and have-nots. Qualified borrowers can hold onto the wireless devices for up to a year at a time. The service ordinarily would cost about $1,000.
Library president Anthony Marx says one-third of New Yorkers don't have home broadband service — a disadvantage for school, jobs and health care.
Rhode Island-based Mobile Beacon first piloted the library Internet lending model in Providence. The low-cost Internet provider then partnered with Sprint for the New York plan funded by $2 million in private grants.