Cleantech startup bringing rooftop Wi-Fi to 100,000 Bronx residents

This is the second story about community mesh that has risen to the top of my Wi-Fi news search in just a few months. (The first one was this article about a neighboring borough, Brooklyn, setting up its own neighborhood mesh). It’s really encouraging to see startups and community orgs tackling the digital divide.

From Donnel Baird, the founder of BlocPower:

“We didn’t realize that the digital divide was as large as it is,” Baird said. “I was a little taken aback, even as a former community organizer and low-income person myself — I thought that more people had access to the internet.”

BlocPower isn’t just working on the digital divide; the startup also just got funding from the city of New York to provide jobs in the clean energy sector for at-risk young people in NY neighborhoods that experience disproportionately high gun violence.