Do you know a community organization that help residents get connected online, provide devices for internet access, or offer digital skills training? They may qualify for a FREE 1Gig internet connection and funding for digital equity programs! Keep reading to find out more!
What is Digital Inequity?
With the rise of home computer use in the late 1990s, a digital divide began to develop between those who could afford a home commuter and those who could not. In the past few decades, our collective reliance on computers, tablets, smart phones, and the internet has skyrocketed and that digital divide has only grown wider. The reality is that there are many in our communities who may not be able to afford a device, or if they can afford the device – they cannot afford the expensive data plan to use it, or that expensive data plan might not even be available in their area.
The COVID pandemic highlighted this in some very real ways with teachers sharing about families trying to get two, three, or four children online for class with only one available computer; students attending class from a fast food parking lot to use the free WiFi; or students just missing out on an entire year’s education because they couldn’t get online. Others were unable to get needed medical care because they could not access tele-health options.
How You Can Help
This is a complex problem that includes access to devices, access to high speed internet, digital literacy, and more. The State of Connecticut is preparing to receive an estimated $150+ million from the federal government to increase internet connectivity and promote digital equity and inclusion. To ensure the funds serve those in need, they are reaching out to trusted community partners to help identify existing programs and resources across the state.
There are two ways you can help this effort!
First, organizations that help residents get connected online, provide devices for internet access, or offer digital skills training may qualify for a FREE 1Gig internet connection and funding for digital equity programs. If you are a part of one of those organizations, please fill out the survey! If you know of a community organization that helps address these issues, let them know! (There could be free internet and funding available for them!)
Second, any individual in the state of Connecticut can complete a resident’s survey to help bring understanding about the barriers and challenges to broadband access.
How does this survey help?
This brief survey will help us accomplish several requirements of the historic Internet for All federal funding.
- Allows us to inventory the programs and resources you have in place to help residents get online, access and leverage technology
- Captures information that may result in eligibility for funding a high-speed broadband connection to your organization
- Enables us to cite your efforts as the State designs a state digital equity plan that may fund programs like yours
- Provides us with your contact information for future funding opportunities in connectivity and digital equity