FCC Announces ‘Connect to Compete’, Focusing on Training & Digital Literacy

By COH Staff

Today, the FCC announced a major national public-private broadband adoption initiative called “Connect to Compete” aimed at boosting digital literacy, skills training, and job creation.

The program, which includes a dozen private and nonprofit partners and includes Connect Ohio’s parent organization Connected Nation, was announced today by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Components of the program include a national “digital literacy corps” working to close the broadband adoption gap, and initiatives by private sector firms that are donating training opportunities, software, and creating digital content that will help job seekers. The Connect to Compete nonprofit initiative will oversee the effort.

Microsoft, Geek Squad, the Boys and Girls Club, Goodwill, One Economy, and the National Urban League are some of the other organizations aligned with Connect to Compete.

Connected Nation’s research shows that nearly 32 million rural Americans do not have broadband at home. In Ohio, 42% of rural households do not have broadband service.

Connect Ohio has been a leader in promoting broadband adoption through its Every Citizen Online program, generating demand for broadband services and helping thousands cross the digital adoption gap in Ohio. More than 11,000 Ohio adults have received free basic computer and Internet training. Of those trained, 88 % indicate they would like to subscribe to broadband within the next year. The Connect to Compete initiative will expand adoption efforts on a national level and help thousands more get connected.

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