Connected Texas rolls out new fundraising program
Contributor: Brian Caudill
The continuing education of Texans is the core of the Connected Texas Every Community Online program. And now, there’s a new fundraising opportunity for the partners of the Every Community Online program!
The Every Community Online program is funded through a federal grant with the goal of increasing broadband access, adoption, and use across the state of Texas. The program’s partners consist of training and public computing organizations such as libraries, schools, and community centers. Now, those partners can earn income from every patron they refer to ECO.
The Every Community Online program launched in April offers free computer and Internet training to Texas residents. Completing the program makes participants eligible for free computer giveaways as well as discounted home broadband service. Topics covered in the training include learning the parts of a computer, keyboard basics, mouse skills, introduction to the Windows environment, what is the Internet?, introduction to an Internet browser, basic searching on the Internet, and introduction to e-mail.
More than 1 million Texas adults say a lack of digital skills and knowledge of how to use a computer and broadband is the main reason they don’t have broadband at home. The ECO program promises to change that by offering Texans a free way to learn life-changing digital skills through their local library.
About 40,000 people are expected to receive ECO training in the first year at more than 350 libraries across the state. Participants will be offered a new user starter kit consisting of a basic computer and basic broadband service (where available) packaged at a discount to encourage immediate adoption and long-term broadband subscription.