If you haven’t yet heard of Connect2Compete, you’ll be hearing plenty about it in the coming months.
A quick summary: Connect2Compete is a joint effort by private companies, non-profits and government to decrease the digital divide between America’s rich and America’s poor. The program offers low income families low-cost high-speed internet access for just $9.95 per month, makes available refurbished desktop and laptop computers for as little as $150, and delivers free computer literacy training classes.
The program has been slowly rolling out across America for the last year or so. And now the pace of that roll-out is increasing.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, Connect2Compete and its Best Buy retail partner will launch a national digital literacy training program at Housing & Urban Development Neighborhood Networks Centers, United Way, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Opening date: late March and the program will be available in 12 major cities during summer 2013.
HUD will work with public housing authorities (PHAs) and multifamily owners in those cities to speed delivery of this training to HUD-assisted residents at Neighborhood Networks Centers and other facilities operated by Connect2Compete partners.
You may qualify if you meet these three simple standards: Eligible families must (1) have at least one student enrolled in the Free School Lunch Program; (2) not be a current subscriber to broadband (or have subscribed in the last 90 days); and (3) not have an overdue bill or unreturned equipment to the participating service provider.
This is absolutely wonderful news for America’s neediest families, but what about low income residents beyond those 12 cities? Let’s get this program rolling on a truly national basis, C2C.