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President Obama Announces ConnectALL Initiative

The White House announced the ConnectALL Initiative that will boost the delivery of broadband and technology training to all Americans. Rural & Tribal libraries were specifically named as target outlets for this program, as the IMLS will partner with CNCS to bring AmeriCorps volunteers to deliver digital literacy training to these locations. Exciting!WhiteHouse_Logo

Read the full press release here, and below is a summary of highlights/excerpts.

From the press release:

President Obama is unveiling ConnectALL, an initiative to help Americans from across the country, at every income level, get online and have the tools to take full advantage of the Internet. Today, the Administration is submitting its recommendation that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reform a $1.5 billion per year Reagan-era phone subsidy program to turn it into a 21st Century national broadband subsidy to help low-income Americans get online. Alongside this FCC filing, the Administration is releasing a new study on the economic importance of broadband and calling for nonprofits, businesses, technology experts, and Government to join a national effort to reach the ConnectALL goal of connecting 20 million more Americans to broadband by 2020.

ConnectALL to ensure more Americans have the broadband they need to get a job, engage their community, and deliver opportunity to their children by:

  • Increasing the affordability of broadband for low-income Americans by modernizing Lifeline, the program to make home/personal phones affordable.
  • Initiating a national service effort to deliver digital literacy skills, through a partnership between CNCS & the IMLS. The Digital Literacy Pilot Project will send AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers to rural & tribal libraries, museums, and community centers to build digital literacy skills.
  • Increasing access to affordable devices,  by restructuring the Computers for Learning program. Computers for Learning allows schools and nonprofit organizations to take advantage of unneeded federal computer equipment.
  • Announcing the development of a tool to support broadband planning. The Community Connectivity Initiative will create a comprehensive online assessment tool to help community leaders identify critical broadband needs and connect them with expertise, tools, and resources for overcoming the challenges to expanded broadband deployment and adoption.
  • Bringing together private sector companies helping to deliver affordable connectivity, bringing in Cox and Univision, and other corporate partners to deliver affordable broadband.
  • Marshaling philanthropic support for digital inclusion. Later this year the Administration will convene leaders in the philanthropic, non-profit, and private sectors to a summit focused on building on our progress to date and delivering on ConnectALL’s vision of connecting 20 million more Americans to broadband by 2020.

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