FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was joined by Connect2Compete (C2C) members Cox Communications, Redemtech-GoodPC, The League of United Latin American Citizens and Carlos Slim at Horace Mann Middle School in San Diego to announce progress on a national effort to close the broadband adoption gap.
C2C is piloting its program with 39,000 eligible students in San Diego and includes $9.95 monthly broadband service from Cox and discounted computer offerings for eligible school lunch children and their families.
The program is designed to test key elements of the national broadband adoption initiative set to launch across the country in the fall. The pilot program runs through 6/30 across six San Diego County school districts, comprising 56 schools.
The Ad Council campaign will begin in January, run for three years and focus on promoting digital literacy training and broadband adoption for all Americans in English and Spanish. The campaign will also promote the existence of free digital literacy training classes in thousands of communities nationwide.
GoodPC is offering either a $150 + tax laptop or desktop with LCD monitor. Both are equipped with Windows 7 Home Premium and MS Office 2007 and include free shipping, 90 days phone PC tech support, one year software tech support, and 90 day extended warranty.
Eligible families must have at least one student enrolled in the Free School Lunch Program, and for the broadband offering; not be a current Cox broadband subscriber (or have subscribed in the last 90 days), and not have an overdue bill or unreturned equipment with Cox.
Additional pilot partners include: The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Connected Living, Solix, and Altman Vilandire & Company.
The Carlos Slim Foundation is supporting C2C’s efforts to extend broadband to unconnected Latino households across the country.
It includes support for a nationwide bilingual Ad Council campaign on digital literacy and broadband adoption, support for digital literacy training materials, and operational support for partnerships with schools, cities, countries, non-profit organizations, and technology companies.
Beginning in the fall, C2C will launch phase one of its low-cost broadband connectivity initiative across the country; the C2C program will expand to all 50 states in January 2013. Participating ISPs include: Bend Cable, Bright House Networks, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast (via their Internet Essentials program), Cox Communications, Eagle Communications, GCI, Insight, Mediacom, Midcontinent, Sjoberg’s Cable, Suddenlink, and Time Warner Cable.
Digital literacy includes in-person training, through coordination with Best Buy’s Geek Squad and thousands of other partner training locations, including America’s schools and libraries. C2C will also launch an online basic and advanced digital literacy training curriculum.
C2C is incorporated as an independent, national non-profit and named Ben Hecht, currently President and CEO of Living Cities, as Chairman of the Board.