News & Insights / Press Releases

Tilson and CEN Deliver Vital Broadband Connectivity to Connecticut Emergency Shelter

For Immediate Release


HARTFORD, Connecticut (05/03/2021). Tilson, a national network development and information infrastructure professional services firm, along with the Connecticut Education Network (CEN), has installed high-speed internet to The Open Hearth in Hartford, the oldest continually operating housing program for men on the East Coast. The pro bono initiative provides clients and staff with broadband access to support critical shelter operations and enable internet access allowing clients to search for employment, access social services, and communicate with family and friends. 

The new network was achieved by using a gigabit point-to-point microwave link from a gigabit fiber service provided by the Connecticut Education Network (CEN) in coordination with the Capital Region Education Council (CREC) at its building across the street. Tilson donated engineering services, installation, and equipment to enable the Shelter’s broadband, and coordinated among the Shelter, CREC, CEN and Tilson on necessary steps to get the project over the finish line. Prior to the installation, the facility operated on an insufficient DSL connection and had been quoted over $75,000 by a provider for an upgrade. 

“Tilson’s commitment to building America’s information infrastructure serves all communities and closes an accessibility gap of internet services. Our support of The Open Heath community is something concrete we can do to help close the digital divide. We also deeply appreciate the support provided by our partners at CEN and CREC.  In a pandemic and always, all people deserve access to government services, employment, telehealth, and everything the internet has to offer,” said Joshua Broder, Tilson CEO. “These are the kinds of problems that we work to solve. This is a time of tremendous need and we’re proud to be able to provide life-changing internet services to the clients and staff of The Open Hearth.”

“Getting The Open Hearth connected was critical to their success and their important role in the community. Through partnerships within the CEN membership, and a public-private approach between CEN and Tilson, much needed connectivity was delivered to The Open Hearth supporting their operations and programs,” said Ryan Kocsondy, Director of CEN. “This really was a win-win between The Open Hearth, CREC, CEN, and Tilson all coming together to make this happen. We’re happy to have The Open Hearth join the CEN member community of anchor institutions, thankful for CREC for their willingness to help a community member, and Tilson for their leadership.”

Since 1884, The Open Hearth has helped thousands of men find housing and jobs, overcome addiction, and reconnect with family and community.  

“Thank you to Drew Ludwick, Elin Katz and the Tilson Team! Tilson has done for us what we did not think was possible. Thank you also to CEN and CREC for their support.  We cannot thank them enough for their generosity and their commitment to our organization and the community we serve,” said Marilyn Rossetti, The Open Hearth’s Executive Director.

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Download the press release: Tilson and CEN Deliver Vital Broadband Connectivity  to Connecticut Emergency Shelter.pdf

About Tilson:

Tilson is on a mission to build America’s information infrastructure. Recognized ten consecutive years on the Inc. 5000, Tilson provides network deployment and information system professional services to telecom, construction, utility and government clients. As a leading network design, build, and operating firm, Tilson builds high-performing technology project teams who take on the largest and most impactful information infrastructure projects in the country.

Kat Chittenden, Senior Brand Manager

About The Open Hearth:

The Open Hearth was founded to offer indigent men a refuge from life on the street – rooms in which to meet, read together, and socialize. A few years after its founding, the organization began housing men who had no place to live. By 1927, to meet the ever-increasing need for housing and jobs, The Open Hearth purchased 150 Charter Oak Avenue in Hartford, its current home.

For more information:   

Luis Olmo-Rivera, Development Coordinator 

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