Connected Nation State-level Digital Inclusion Work Highlighted at FCC Public Hearing

Connected Tennessee’s Executive Director Michael Ramage Invited to Speak at Federal Communications Commission’s Field Hearing in Memphis

Memphis, Tenn. — Today, the digital inclusion work of Connected Tennessee, a Connected Nation state-level initiative, will be highlighted during a Federal Communications Commission’s field hearing in Memphis.

Connected Tennessee’s executive director Michael Ramage will speak at one of a series of FCC’s public hearings promoting an open discussion between the commission and the public on the development of a national broadband plan.

In Tennessee, work to provide expanded access to and use of broadband has seen significant success. Since Connected Tennessee’s 2007 inception, more than 250,000 Tennesseans have gained access to broadband.

Connected Tennessee has accomplished this goal by involving all of Tennessee’s 95 counties in a technology planning and outreach process called e-Community Strategies. Through this process, each county creates local leadership teams, comprised of leaders from both the private and public sector. These teams work to create county-level technology plans in order to address a particular county’s challenges related to technology growth.

In addition to this process, Connected Tennessee has distributed more than 2,100 computers to children, families and community-based organizations through its Computers 4 Kids program. In October, Connected Tennessee’s Computers 4 Kids program was awarded a “community service” award at the 7th annual TechStar Awards in Kingsport, Tenn. The honor was given for the program’s commitment of time and resources to improve the community through technology.

Following the success of state-based programs like Connected Tennessee’s Computer 4 Kids, Connected Nation and several leading technology companies including Intel, Fujitsu, Velocity Micro and ZT Systems announced in August the creation of Every Citizen Online (SM), a public-private partnership program that will enable computer ownership and broadband use in low-income and unconnected homes throughout the United States.

The program will help vulnerable populations overcome the top barriers to adoption: broadband awareness and training, computer ownership and subscription affordability.

Joining together technology companies and local entities, the program will provide digital literacy and help unconnected consumers purchase a new broadband-enabled computer using an instant rebate, bundled with a year of discounted broadband service.

Related Links:

Press Release: Connected Nation Partners with Technology Leaders to Apply for Broadband Stimulus Funds to Connect More U.S. Households

About: Every Citizen Online (SM)

Whitepaper: Investing in Sustainable Broadband Adoption (PDF)

News Article: Intel’s Maloney talks beer and broadband (The Hill, 10/29/09)

News Article: Q&A with Brian Meffford, CEO, Connected Nation About Every Citizen Online (Wireless Government Report, 12/07/09)

News Article: U.S. Stimulus: Intel Invests in Sustainable Broadband Adoption ([email protected] blog, 08/20/09)

News Article: Intel, Dell, Fujitsu Partner with Nonprofit to Increase Low-income Internet Access (The Daily Tell, 08/18/09)

News Article: Connected Nation, Technology Stalwarts Launch Every Citizen Online (Cherokeean Hearld, 08/19/09)

News Article: Connected Nation: Access Not the Biggest Problem (TMCNet, 08/14/09)

News Article: Intel, Dell Join Nonprofit To Bring Cheap Internet Svc To Poor (Dow Jones Newswire via The Wall Street Journal, 08/13/09)

View press release here.

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