Monday, October 4, 2021
At least 42 million people do not have adequate Internet access to learn and work remotely, or effectively take advantage of telemedicine in the United States. One out of seven children lacks Internet access at home, increasing to nearly a third of households with an annual income of less than $20,000. Black, Hispanic, and Native American households are also disproportionately affected.(1) Solving the digital divide puzzle needs more than just money and requires thinking beyond traditional connectivity solutions.
Managed by US Ignite and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with Schmidt Futures, Project OVERCOME is a unique program that creates an innovative environment for seven communities to test locally-accelerated and innovative solutions designed to deliver community Internet connectivity within just 12 months.
In March 2021, US Ignite announced the names of seven winning communities chosen to deploy connectivity solutions in their communities. The selected communities reflect a mix of density, demographics, income levels, regions of the United States, housing types, local and industry collaborations, and technical approaches.
US Ignite is overseeing deployment efforts, promoting outreach, and working with social scientists to measure the societal impacts of Project OVERCOME on access to healthcare, education, employment, and skills development. US Ignite is also documenting the challenges and lessons learned from the project in an effort to inform national broadband strategy and inspire other communities to adopt innovative, community-driven approaches to bridging the digital divide.
This article kicks off a new series that features the seven Project OVERCOME communities and shines a light on the innovative solutions these communities are deploying in pursuit of digital equity.
- Vogels, E., 2021. Digital divide persists even as Americans with lower incomes make gains in tech adoption. [online] Pew Research Center. Available at: www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/06/22/digital-divide-persists-even-as-americans-with-lower-incomes-make-gains-in-tech-adoption [Accessed 16 September 2021].
For more information:
US Ignite is accelerating the smart community movement – and creating value for an entire ecosystem – by guiding communities into the connected future, creating a path for private sector growth, and advancing technology research that’s at the heart of smart city development. Project OVERCOME is delivering broadband services to the underserved and unserved populations in seven communities. The project is led by US Ignite with financial support from the National Science Foundation and Schmidt Futures.
The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people in the U.S. have access to competitive, High-Performance Broadband regardless of where they live or who they are. We believe communication policy – rooted in the values of access, equity, and diversity – has the power to deliver new opportunities and strengthen communities.
© Benton Institute for Broadband & Society 2021. Redistribution of this email publication – both internally and externally – is encouraged if it includes this copyright statement.
For subscribe/unsubscribe info, please email headlinesATbentonDOTorg