By Pat Loeb

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia and Camden are among the 27 cities selected for a new White House initiative to expand internet access in low income households.

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Seventy million dollars has been committed for a pilot project called “Connect Home,” which would provide free or discounted broadband service to families in subsidized housing. National Economic Council Director Jeff Zients says it’s part of an effort to keep the playing field level, technologically.

“So that low and moderate income Americans aren’t left behind in an increasingly digital age,” he says.

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Philadelphia Housing Authority Director Kelvin Jeremiah says PHA has already been working on closing the digital divide, providing free laptops and training to residents. He says internet access, though, has been a barrier.

“With an average income of $11,000, most of our residents find it too expensive to afford the monthly subscription,” Jeremiah explains.

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ConnectHome will work with Sprint to provide free access to households with children in grades K to 12, and PHA has committed $250,000 for equipment or devices that might be needed.