In an attempt to level the digital playing field, especially for the 41 percent of Philadelphians who don’t have home Internet access, yesterday, EveryoneOn had its local launch in Philadelphia. The campaign, also recently launched in Charlotte and other US cities, aims to connect Americans to free digital literacy training classes, discounted high speed Internet and affordable computers.
As a part of the Philly Tech Week celebrations, over 50 people packed the lobby of the Free Library of Philadelphia. There were several guest speakers – including Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn, Knight Foundation Philadelphia Program Director Donna Frisby-Greenwood and Connect2Compete’s CEO Zach Leverenz. They all reinforced the importance of having broadband Internet access at home.
“Broadband is the great equalizer. It allows individuals and communities to be the best they can be. That’s why the FCC has been concentrating its efforts over the last 3 to 4 years on broadband availability and adoption,” said FCC Commissioner Clyburn at the event.
Behind EveryoneOn is Connect2Compete, a national nonprofit dedicated to eliminating the digital divide. It is funded in part by Knight Foundation.
Connect2Compete launched as a program of the FCC in 2011. In the summer of 2012, it became an independent nonprofit organization. “Broadband and technology has already transformed business, education, healthcare, civic engagement and government. Yet, still, one third of all Americans – 100 million – don’t have Internet access; this is unacceptable,” said Leverenz.
“Knight Foundation believes that technology has the power to transform our democracy,” said Frisby-Greenwood. “EveryoneOn is a program all Philadelphians should know about and support as we strive to continue to make Philadelphia a great place to live, work, learn and grow.”