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Programs and Organizations Ending Digital Divide

digital divide

There is a huge income disparity in the world where a select percentage of the world’s population controls most of the money. Huge corporations have a big share in the market which makes it extremely difficult for middle-man or SMEs to make a difference. A lot of this has to do with the lack of resources and unavailability of opportunities. This can lead to a big digital divide in the present era where the internet is the most important commodity. As most households don’t have enough income to focus on anything other than food and shelter.  

The world is moving at a much faster pace now. After the pandemic, many processes have become online and as 5G internet hits the market, things are only going to get better – and faster. However, the internet is not available to all. The American Community Survey found that almost 25% of households don’t have any internet subscriptions at all.

least connected states in the US

Programs and Organizations Closing Down the Digital Divide

Many American households don’t have access to a broadband internet connection. This means that these people are inherently at a disadvantage. Even in countries with the fastest internet in the world, there are remote areas with almost no connectivity. The children don’t have the same learning opportunities and the adults don’t have the same employment prospects.  

Therefore, there are many organizations that are trying to make internet access easy and accessible for all. These companies are either non-profit organizations or internet providers that are under government contracts. Here are a few companies and programs that are striving for digital equity and inclusion around the world: 

1. The Affordable Connectivity Program 

ISPs like Spectrum, Cox, etc., have an Affordable Connectivity Program and Digital Education Program that is a long-term benefit plan with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The program offers up to a $30 per month discount on internet connections for eligible households with low income. These households can also get a one-off discount for buying laptops, computers, or tablets. There are a bunch of different criteria that allow a household to be on the plan or not.  

There are many internet service providers that offer the plan with their services. And you can check online for the list of providers in your area. With the ACP, you can get Spectrum internet plans at a much more discounted rate. It is a great initiative that is helping underprivileged youth get the same opportunities.

2. EveryoneOn

The non-profit organization is working hard for its flagship programs like Connect2Compete. They are big advocates of internet-for-all and are striving to provide the same opportunities to everyone. The company teams up with different service providers to create more affordable packages. They are also working on digital literacy programs so adults can know more about internet security and what to expect when they’re online. Moreover, the company also provides internet-enabled devices to qualifying families with a low income.

3. Charter Spectrum

There are many internet service providers that offer various affordable programs for underprivileged households. Similar to others, the Spectrum Internet Assist Program also helps households get the necessary broadband services they require. The company offers major discounts on faster internet connections to help people stay online without emptying their pockets.  

The provider is one of the front-runners in ending the digital divide and creating equal opportunities for all. The program provides a free modem and up to 30 Mbps internet speed to qualifying households. Moreover, there are no data caps or contracts and you can also get an optional in-home wifi service for an additional cost.

4. Human-I-T

It is one of the most well-known non-profits and aims to end the digital divide by providing necessary equipment and internet connections to people in need. The company takes donations for internet equipment such as routers, laptops, extenders, etc. They also provide refurbished equipment and you can fill out the form to get in touch with them.  

Human-I-T has connections with most ISPs and can also help customers identify affordable internet plans in their area. Companies like these are trying their best to make sure everyone has the same opportunities and we take everyone with us when the world moves forward. 

5. Computers for Kids

Since 2002, Computers for Kids has been one of the top Microsoft refurbishing companies in the USA. They take up old Microsoft equipment and make it as good as new. The refurbished equipment gets donated to schools, libraries, other non-profits, and students. Kids can use it for studying, esports, research purposes, and so much more. It is a great initiative because many people who can afford a broadband connection cannot afford a device to run it on. Moreover, equipment in public libraries and schools can help many people.

The internet connectivity disparity is slowly reducing but there is still a long way to go. Companies and non-profits like these are vital to bridge the gap so everyone can have the same opportunities.

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