Innovative IT, Inc., A New Chapter
By John Lim, President
Back in 2014, TekTegrity started looking at Innovative IT and exploring the idea of acquiring it. At the beginning of 2015 we did. At the time there was this little splintered division of Innovative IT (the Resident Internet Division) that did affordable housing work with developers, which was really interesting to me. I had been talking with the partners for years about this: I wanted to manage people’s connectivity to the Internet.
I saw an opportunity here for us to be able to work with cool tech but also contribute to a common good. This division was promising and I wanted to see where we could go with these affordable housing programs.
Around this time (2015), the Obama administration had begun the ConnectHome Initiative, the goal of the program being to “bridge the digital divide”. The pilot program for this initiative was actually based off what California was already doing with AB 1299 (infrastructure), which our team already had experience with. One of the test locations happened to be Park Grove, Fresno, an affordable housing site belonging to the Fresno Housing Authority that Innovative IT had done work on previously. This program helped demonstrate that successful deployments of connective services can be done at a fairly low cost to developers as well as a fairly low ongoing cost to provide a free Internet connection. As this was occurring, my next thought was “how do we get the word out and do this for everybody?”
When I got the opportunity to take over the Resident Internet Division of Innovative IT in 2016 that was my goal. We were able to have a very successful 2017 and are planning on continuing that success in 2018 and beyond.
Now, Innovative IT is moving out on our own again.
This time, the objective is to enhance and focus on developing the Resident Internet Division. I want to take what was once just a small component of the company and expand the TCAC and adoption programs so as to not only contribute to providing connectivity, but also teach people how to use this free amenity.
Internet connectivity I feel, is a basic necessity nowadays. The days of just using computers and software installed and run on them are gone. Everything is hosted via the Internet. Gmail, Facebook, Netflix, etc. All hosted. All you really need is a device, the website you want to reach, and connectivity. Couple that with digital literacy and we are able to open up so many opportunities.
The Internet and connectivity should be cheap and accessible to everyone. Good connectivity shouldn’t be relegated only to the people who can pay for high speed Internet service costs. I would love to provide that free connectivity to people.
Through programs that incentivize developers to build affordable housing, we’re able to contribute to that vision. For every single site that we’ve done, the housing authorities and developers have never charged their residents for connectivity. They can, but they don’t. They, like us, want to provide free amenity services.
So for the seniors that are living in these senior communities, you can connect with your family. For the kids living here with their families, you can do your homework. For the families, you can find jobs, grow your skills, access banking sites, healthcare programs, etc. All of these residents can have the advantages that technology offers. When you’re connected, the world is much smaller and you can do so much more.