LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starry, Inc., (the “Company” or “Starry”) a next generation licensed fixed wireless technology developer and internet service provider, today announced it has expanded its affordable, high-capacity internet service to the 164 households at Avalon Gardens, a Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) community in the Green Meadows neighborhood of Los Angeles. Avalon Gardens is the ninth HACLA community to be connected to Starry’s affordable, high-speed broadband service and the fifth community to be connected as part of Starry’s work with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative. In addition, Starry announced plans with Microsoft to refurbish the Avalon Gardens community computer lab with new WiFi access, new computers, printers and accessories for use by residents.
Starry first launched its partnership with HACLA in June 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide its Starry Connect service to the 601 households at Mar Vista Gardens in Los Angeles’ Del Rey neighborhood. In October 2020, Starry expanded on this effort with HACLA by collaborating with the Mayor’s Office of Budget and Innovation and Microsoft’s Airband Initiative to accelerate the availability of its low-cost, high-quality broadband service in four additional HACLA communities: Imperial Courts, Nickerson Gardens, Pueblo Del Rio and Jordan Downs. Reliable, affordable home broadband access has been critically important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to enable virtual learning, working from home and access to telehealth and social service resources. Through the collective efforts of Starry, HACLA, the Mayor’s Office, and Microsoft, more than 4,600 HACLA households now have access to an affordable broadband option through Starry.
“Access to a reliable internet connection is more essential today than ever for parents, students, job seekers, and folks looking to stay connected with their loved ones,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Through this program, Starry is providing the residents of Avalon Gardens with that connection and opening new doors of opportunity to employment, education, and more.”
“We believe every family deserves access to affordable, high-quality home broadband service and our goal with Starry Connect is to extend that access to communities we know are being underserved,” said Chet Kanojia, Starry co-Founder and CEO. “With committed partners like HACLA, the Mayor’s Office and Microsoft, we’re able to make affordable broadband access a reality for families who might otherwise go without. Having robust home internet access has never been more important and we’re proud to serve our HACLA families with a broadband service that is not just reliable, but delights. Thank you to our partner Microsoft for continuing to support our efforts to expand digital access and inclusion in public housing.”
“Here at the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, we’re so happy to see our partnership with Starry going strong,” said HACLA President & CEO Doug Guthrie. “Many people are still working and learning from home, and it’s important that we make digital inclusion a priority. With Starry Connect now available at more than half of our public housing sites, we are well on our way to closing the digital inequity gap in our communities.”
“Today’s launch means families will receive access to affordable, high-quality broadband, but more importantly, they’ll gain access to new opportunities and tools that can help change lives,” said Teresa Huston, Vice President, Tech and Corporate Responsibility Group, Microsoft. “We’re confident that we can permanently close the broadband gap and extend digital equity for all, and today’s efforts with Starry and HACLA are an excellent example of the collaboration we need to make that happen.”
All HACLA residents within the nine served communities have the option to sign up for Starry Connect, a high-speed, 30 Mbps symmetrical home broadband service for $15 per month with no data caps, no long-term contracts, no credit checks, no extra fees for equipment and free installation and 24/7 world-class customer support. Additional speed tiers are also available to residents. HACLA residents can also sign up for Starry’s service and opt-into the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), a federal benefit will provide a discount of up to $30 per month towards home broadband access for eligible households.
Starry launched its Starry Connect program in 2018 to address the growing digital divide by providing an affordable and ultra-low-barrier broadband option to public and affordable housing communities. Starry Connect brings ultra-low-cost broadband service to public and affordable housing residents without requiring credit checks, long-term contracts, individual eligibility requirements (such as household participation in SNAP, WIC or Medicaid) or a lengthy application process. This innovative approach to removing broadband adoption barriers earned Starry designation as ConnectHomeUSA stakeholder through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2019.
“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) continues to invest in strengthening the housing market and economy – building a stronger, more equitable America,” said Laurie Udit, HUD’s Los Angeles Area Field Office Director. “ConnectHome started as a collaborative initiative between communities, the private sector, and federal government to expand high-speed internet access to more families nationwide – over the past decade, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) has been a partner with HUD through ConnectHome. Access to the internet should not be a luxury only afforded to the few; this incredible cross-sector partnership between HACLA, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Starry Internet, and the Microsoft Corporation is bringing together advanced technologies, upgraded capabilities, and affordable internet for hundreds of low income, vulnerable households that need it most. HUD is proud to be part of projects such as this that continue to close the digital divide and bring under-served communities into the 21st century.”
Starry Internet is available in Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, Washington, DC, Denver and Columbus, OH. On October 7, 2021, Starry announced that it will become a public company through a business combination with FirstMark Horizon Acquisition Corp. (“FirstMark”) (NYSE: FMAC). To learn more about Starry, visit: https://starry.com. To learn more about Starry Connect, become a Starry Connect partner or sign-up for Starry Connect service, visit https://starry.com/starryconnect.
About Starry, Inc.
At Starry, Inc. (“Starry”), we believe the future is built on connectivity and that connecting people and communities to high-speed, broadband internet should be simple and affordable. Using our innovative, wideband hybrid-fiber fixed wireless technology, Starry is deploying gigabit capable broadband to the home without bundles, data caps, or long-term contracts. Starry is a different kind of internet service provider. We’re building a platform for the future by putting our customers first, protecting their privacy, ensuring access to an open and neutral net, and making affordable connectivity and digital equity a priority. Headquartered in Boston and backed by world-class investors, Starry is currently available in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Denver and Columbus and is expanding nationwide. To learn more about Starry or to join our team and help us build a better internet, visit: https://starry.com.
About FirstMark Horizon Acquisition Corp.
FirstMark Horizon Acquisition Corp. (“FirstMark”) is a special purpose acquisition company whose mission is to drive long-term value creation by actively supporting the next generation of iconic public companies. FirstMark is comprised of a team of seasoned investors and industry executives with an extensive track record of identifying transformative trends across innovative subsectors of technology. Notably, FirstMark's management team is composed of the founders and executives of FirstMark Capital, a prominent technology venture capital firm founded in 2008 with $2.3 billion in total capital commitments, which has backed entrepreneurs that have created leading companies, many valued at over a billion dollars. For more information, please visit http://firstmarkhorizon.com.
Additional Information about the Business Combination and Where to Find It
In connection with the proposed business combination, Starry Group Holdings, Inc., (formerly known as Starry Holdings, Inc., “Starry Group Holdings”), a newly formed subsidiary of Starry, has filed a registration statement on Form S-4 (the “Form S-4”) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on November 5, 2021 (as amended on December 20, 2021, January 14, 2022, February 4, 2022 and February 9, 2022). The Form S-4 includes a proxy statement of FirstMark and a prospectus of Starry Group Holdings, referred to as a proxy statement/prospectus. The S-4 has been declared effective by the SEC and the definitive proxy statement/prospectus has been sent to all FirstMark stockholders. Additionally, Starry Group Holdings and FirstMark have also filed and may continue to file other relevant materials with the SEC in connection with the proposed business combination. Copies of the Form S-4, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and all other relevant materials filed or that will be filed with the SEC by FirstMark or Starry Group Holdings may be obtained free of charge at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Before making any voting or investment decision, investors and security holders of FirstMark are urged to read the Form S-4, the definitive proxy statement/prospectus and all other relevant materials filed or that will be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed business combination because they will contain important information about the proposed business combination and the parties to the proposed business combination.
Participants in Solicitation
FirstMark, Starry Group Holdings and Starry and their respective directors and executive officers, under SEC rules, may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies of FirstMark’s stockholders in connection with the proposed business combination. Investors and security holders may obtain more detailed information regarding the names and interests in the proposed business combination of FirstMark’s directors and officers in FirstMark’s filings with the SEC, including FirstMark’s registration statement on Form S-1, which was originally filed with the SEC on September 18, 2020. To the extent that holdings of FirstMark’s securities have changed from the amounts reported in FirstMark’s registration statement on Form S-1, such changes have been or will be reflected on Statements of Change in Ownership on Form 4 filed with the SEC. Information regarding the persons who may, under SEC rules, be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies to FirstMark’s stockholders in connection with the business combination is included in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus relating to the proposed business combination. You may obtain free copies of these documents as described in the preceding paragraph.
No Offer or Solicitation
This communication shall not constitute a proxy statement or solicitation of a proxy, consent or authorization with respect to any securities or in respect of the proposed business combination. This communication shall also not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities of FirstMark, Starry Group Holdings or Starry, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
Certain statements made in this communication are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the proposed business combination between FirstMark and Starry. Words such as “expect,” “estimate,” “project,” “budget,” “forecast,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “may,” “will,” “could,” “should,” “believe,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “strategy,” “future,” “opportunity,” “would,” “seem,” “seek,” “outlook” and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other statements about future events that are based on current expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from the expected results. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this communication. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on by an investor as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, Starry’s and FirstMark’s expectations with respect to the anticipated financial impacts of the proposed business combination, the satisfaction of closing conditions to the proposed business combination, and the timing of the completion of the proposed business combination. You should carefully consider the risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” section of FirstMark’s registration statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-248916), its Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended from time to time, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, and its subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. In addition, there are risks and uncertainties described in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus filed by Starry Group Holdings and other documents filed by FirstMark or Starry Group Holdings from time to time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Most of these factors are outside Starry’s, Starry Group Holdings’ and FirstMark’s control and are difficult to predict. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ from the forward-looking statements in this communications, including but not limited to: (1) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against FirstMark, Starry or Starry Group Holdings following the announcement of the proposed business combination; (2) the inability to complete the proposed business combination, including due to the inability to concurrently close the business combination and related transactions, including the private placements of common stock and convertible notes or due to failure to obtain approval of the stockholders of FirstMark; (3) the risk that the proposed business combination may not be completed by FirstMark’s business combination deadline and the potential failure to obtain an extension of the business combination deadline if sought by FirstMark; (4) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the proposed business combination, including the approval by the stockholders of FirstMark, the satisfaction of the minimum trust account amount following any redemptions by FirstMark’s public stockholders and the receipt of certain governmental and regulatory approvals; (5) delays in obtaining, adverse conditions contained in, or the inability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals or complete regulatory reviews required to complete the proposed business combination; (6) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement; (7) volatility in the price of FirstMark’s, Starry’s or Starry Group Holdings’ securities; (8) the risk that the proposed business combination disrupts current plans and operations as a result of the announcement and consummation of the business combination; (9) the inability to recognize the anticipated benefits of the proposed business combination, which may be affected by, among other things, competition, the ability of the combined company to grow and manage growth profitably, maintain relationships with customers and suppliers and retain key employees; (10) costs related to the proposed business combination; (11) changes in the applicable laws or regulations; (12) the possibility that the combined company may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors; (13) the risk of downturns and a changing regulatory landscape in the highly competitive industry in which Starry operates; (14) the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic; (15) Starry’s ability to obtain or maintain rights to use licensed spectrum in any market in which Starry operates and potential declines in the value of Starry’s FCC licenses; (16) the potential inability of Starry to raise additional capital needed to pursue its business objectives or to achieve efficiencies regarding other costs; (17) the enforceability of Starry’s intellectual property, including its patents, and the potential infringement on the intellectual property rights of others, cyber security risks or potential breaches of data security; and (18) other risks and uncertainties described in FirstMark’s registration statement on Form S-1 and Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended from time to time, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and its subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and in the definitive proxy statement/prospectus filed by Starry Group Holdings. These risks and uncertainties may be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused significant economic uncertainty. Starry, Starry Group Holdings and FirstMark caution that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive or exhaustive and not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, including projections, which speak only as of the date made. None of Starry, Starry Group Holdings or FirstMark gives any assurance that Starry, Starry Group Holdings or FirstMark will achieve its expectations. None of Starry, Starry Group Holdings or FirstMark undertakes or accepts any obligation to publicly provide revisions or updates to any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, or should circumstances change, except as otherwise required by securities and other applicable laws.