Broadband service a lifeline for Detroit's future, FCC commissioner says

For 19 years, Mario Bueno called prison his home.  

Released in 2014, he started his life over and now runs a nonprofit that's based out of the Detroit School for Digital Technology.

"By the grace and glory of God I've gotten a BS in accounting, I'm a published scholar and with a thesis on the long term implications of housing adolescents with adult offenders. We created the nonprofit," he said.

The idea is to help citizens who have been in prison to return to the workforce. The school is run out of the former third precinct in Detroit and the offices are old jail cells. As important to this learning center as water and heat is broadband Internet. Rocket Fiber is the Detroit company that installed it.  

"We are actually partners with DSDT/ We are building them a brand new high speed wireless Internet connection right now that will deliver gigabit speeds to this facility," said Marc Hudson of Rocket Fiber.

The broadband connection made here does more than deliver gigabit speeds -- it's changed lives. Now Detroit's digital drive has caught the attention of FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr. 

"Detroit is a great story of a comeback city that I think broadband has really played a role. helping spur some of those businesses that have come back to city," he said.

The cofounder of Rocket Fiber knew there was a need. Detroit was one of the most disconnected cities in the country when it came to broadband service. Places like the DSDT would never get off the ground hadit not been for connectivity.  

"Four years ago, there was very little fiber optic internet infrastructure in Detroit. So we have been investing, building those fiber lines. We do that for residential and business customers," Hudson said.

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