Home Internet Access

Providing digital access to individuals and businesses where it’s needed.

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%

of Fiberhoods connected

Low-cost computers to families

Students Enrolled in Training Classes

Wireless mesh networks

The Opportunity

High-speed fiber cannot reach its full potential if large segments of our population are excluded from its benefits. We must ensure that all residents — especially those in disadvantaged groups — have access to technology and the equipment and skills to use it. The need to bridge the digital divide is inherent in most, if not all, of the plays in this playbook. Internet access helps pave the road to success in today’s society, and people who don’t have broadband access may be isolated from many of the opportunities afforded to those who do.

The Solution

Pilot projects addressing Digital Inclusion should not only provide high-speed Internet access in locations that will help drive community development and strengthen neighborhoods, but also provide the education and training that residents need to develop digital literacy skills. We recommend the following steps to ensure digital inclusion in the Greater Kansas City region:

  • The leadership network should identify existing community-based programs and groups that are working on this issue and determine how to support them moving forward.
  • Kansas City, Mo. and the Unified Government should develop strategies for inclusive public access at anchor institutions connected to Google’s high-speed fiber network, such as schools, community centers and libraries.
  • Work with organizations such as One Economy on longer-term strategies for digital inclusion.

Benefits & Outcomes

    • Impact the regional economy by helping residents gain employment skills.
    • Higher quality of life through improved access to public services and social, financial, cultural and informational resources.
    • Demonstrate measurable increases in technology access and digital competence.

Projects in action

Connecting for Good

The only nonprofit for digital inclusion, Connecting for Good provides wireless mesh networks, community technology centers, low-cost refurbished PCs and free digital life skills classes.

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Computer Refurbishing

Thanks to nonprofits like Connecting for Good, certified, refurbished PCs can be produced for as low as $50-$75 to low-income families.

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Paint the Town Green

When Google Fiber announced its rollout strategy, KC Digital Drive proactively led the charge to make sure fiberhoods across the digital divide met their goals.

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News

Charlotte, NC follows in Kansas City’s digital inclusion footsteps

One of Kansas City’s digital leader sisters is none other than Charlotte, North Carolina. Friday, Feb 3. the Kansas City Coalition for Digital Inclusion talked with Charlotte’s Digital Inclusion Project Manager at the Knight School of Communications, Bruce Clark. Bruce Clark credits Kansas City’s efforts as Charlotte’s inspiration and says they often have looked in […]

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WebNotes: Perspectives from the field on refurbished devices

After eight years leading the Kansas City-area computer and electronics recycling organization Surplus Exchange, Bob Akers recently accepted the position of Enterprise Director with e-Stewards. E-Stewards offers sustainability certification for electronics recyclers, and in his new role, Bob will seek to grow the work he began at e-Stewards and help enterprise IT leaders manage their […]

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