Technology Leaders to Apply for Broadband Stimulus Funds to Connect More U.S.Households
Connected Nation, Intel, Fujitsu, Velocity Micro, and ZT Systems create initiative to enable affordable computers and low-cost broadband service for low-income and unconnected households
Washington, DC – Connected Nation, a national nonprofit, is joining with technology stalwarts Intel, Fujitsu, Velocity Micro, and ZT Systems to establish Every Citizen OnlineSM, a public-private partnership program to enable computer ownership and broadband use in low-income and unconnected homes. The program will help vulnerable populations overcome top barriers to adoption: broadband awareness and training, computer ownership, and broadband affordability. In order to impact the most Americans, the partnership has submitted an application for Every Citizen OnlineSM to take advantage of Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funding set aside for Sustainable Broadband Adoption as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
“Connected Nation is honored and excited to partner with technology leaders to directly impact the lives of Americans who previously could not afford a broadband-connected computer in their homes,” states Brian Mefford, Connected Nation’s chairman and CEO. “Our work allows us to see first hand the value of connected computers in homes. Broadband opens a world of opportunities related to jobs, education, health care, and government services.”
Every Citizen OnlineSM will provide digital literacy and enable unconnected Americans to purchase a new broadband-enabled computer using an instant rebate, bundled with discounted broadband service for a minimum of twelve months. The program will target low-income households who otherwise could not afford a home computer and broadband subscription, as well as other vulnerable populations.
The program specifically addresses the top barriers that prevent many Americans from accessing broadband service, including lack of awareness of the benefits of broadband technology, monthly subscription price, and lack of a computer (2009 Pew Internet & American Life Project). According to Pew research, 21% of those who cite price as a barrier to broadband adoption are African Americans, 27% are age 65 and older, and 27% live in rural areas. Based on similar surveys conducted by Connected Nation, if the barriers of computer ownership and broadband subscription affordability were removed, an additional seven million households could begin subscribing to home broadband service.
Currently, more than $7 billion is available through the ARRA for broadband projects nationwide. In the ARRA, $4.7 billion goes to BTOP to fund grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas, enhance broadband capacity at public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service.
Every Citizen OnlineSM initially will be launched in states with active Connected Nation affiliates. For more information about the program, visit www.connectednation.org.
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About Connected Nation: Connected Nation is a national nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that expands access to and use of broadband Internet and the related technologies that are enabled when individuals and communities have the opportunity and desire to connect. Connected Nation effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and related technologies by developing coalitions of influencers and enablers for improving technology availability and use. Connected Nation works with consumers, community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered around a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked.
Connected Nation is currently implementing or has completed a wide range of initiatives in the following states and U.S. territories: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. For more information about Connected Nation, visit www.connectednation.org.