Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

National Broadband Plan will increase digital literacy

March 9, 2010, 2:48 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

The National Broadband Plan aims to have broadband in 90% of American households by 2020 (currently, the number is somewhere around 65%). Affordable access is only a piece of the plan, however.

The FCC recommends the creation of a three-part National Digital Literacy Program. During the America's Digital Inclusion Summit, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, at right, emphatically lauded the creation of a Digital Literacy Corps, to help tackle the digital divide locally. Face-to-face training will help ensure that Americans who do not regularly use computers or the Internet are no longer handicapped.

When asked by her daughter to enroll in computer training, Florence Pearson admits to having backed out initially. But after finally attending a class, with her daughter in tow, Pearson's fears vanished:

"I was handicapped. I had to have someone else type my work for me. [After training,] all I can see are possibilities for myself and my family. I went in with fear and came out with the motivation to tackle the computer and make my children proud," says Pearson, Education Director of Head Start in New York, NY.

 


Pearson, pictured above with her daughter, was one of five speakers from the Voices of Inclusion series that shed light on how broadband access and digital literacy have personally improved the lives of Americans.

The National Broadband Plan is scheduled to be presented to Congress by the FCC on Wednesday, March 17. You can read more about the plan at http://broadband.gov/.