Ed Mullin and Adam Bouhmad light up Project Waves for Southwest Baltimore. Photo by Stephen Babcock, Technical.ly/Baltimore

Giving Tuesday brought many appeals to bolster nonprofits and organizations that have a positive impact on the community.

For community ISP Project Waves, it was a chance to provide a look at its work during a year when the need to close the digital divide has come into stark relief amid the pandemic. Through Facebook Live on the Digital Harbor Foundation’s page, leaders provided updates on their work to connect households to the internet in a city where 96,000 households lack wireline access in the community, alongside a call to action to donate.

Over the next year, Project Waves is funded to connect 250 households to the Project Waves network in partnership with National Science Foundation, said Project Waves founder and director Adam Bouhmad. The project includes a study that follows what happens when residents gain internet access, and how it changes opportunities.

With the $115,315 RAPID grant, the organization is working together with community-based groups during the pandemic to provide free internet connectivity to previously disconnected households across Baltimore city. Residents who receive connectivity will also receive wraparound digital literacy services. Project Waves is working with UMBC’s Dr. Foad Hamidi the Digital Harbor Foundation, which is the fiscal sponsor of Project Waves, on this project.

“The way our work, works is by marrying both the human and technical components of a network,” said Bouhmad, a Baltimore native who previously worked at the Digital Harbor Foundation as a security engineer. Later in the session, he said that approach extends not just to the use of the internet service, but also ownership. Along with the details of how the technology works, he spoke just as passionately about meeting with community associations.
“The whole concept is community ownership from a technical level but also from a human level,” said Bouhmad, who was also recently named one of Technical.ly’s 2020 RealLIST Engineers.

Read more at Technical.ly/Baltimore