San Jose, ‘Capital of Silicon Valley,’ Wants to Provide Internet to Low-Income Households Using Helium Mining
The California city of San Jose, sometimes called the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” plans to fund internet access for low-income families through HNT tokens mined on the Helium network, according to a city press release published on Thursday.
- The pilot aims to give 1,300 participating households a one-time payment of $120 that they can use to pay for low-cost internet for one year.
- To fund these one-time payments, the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation will install 20 Helium-compatible Hotspots with volunteer residents and small businesses. The hotspots will mine HNT tokens for a pilot period of six months.
- Helium aims to provide wireless connectivity that doesn’t rely on centralized wireless carriers. Instead, it aims to build a global peer-to-peer network of nodes that power Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The network includes over 200,000 nodes, according to the Helium website.
- Helium mining devices use 5 watts of energy to provide long-range wireless access to devices around them while earning HNT tokens. This type of connection cannot support devices like laptops or smartphones, but can work for IoT devices.
- The project is a partnership between the mayor’s office, Helium, and the California Emerging Technology Fund.
- Helium raised $111 million in an August token sale.
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