Keeping Tabs on the Digital Divide

The LinkAge

2016: Year in Review

All EO Staff photo

Happy New Year from the EveryoneOn team. As we move into 2017, EveryoneOn has lots to be proud of. Since 2012, we have connected more than 400,000 people in the United States to low-cost Internet services.

At EveryoneOn, we believe that being connected to the digital world is no longer a luxury and that we can create social and economic opportunity by connecting everyone to the Internet. Here are some ways that we have done this in 2016:

  • ConnectHome_anniversary2Celebrated the 1st anniversary of ConnectHome, our groundbreaking work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to connect people in public housing. Through the first year of the program, tens of thousands of people living in public housing across the 28 pilot phase communities have been connected to low-cost, at-home Internet service and digital literacy training. In addition, more than 7,000 devices including tablets, laptops, and desktop computers have been distributed.
  • The launch and roll out of the much-anticipated Lifeline subsidy modernization and reform. Now, approximately 43 million people in the United States can qualify for a $9.95 per month subsidy, which can be used to pay for at-home Internet service. We participated in the years of discussion and public hearings leading up to this Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision, pushing for this essential reform. We celebrated with many other digital inclusion advocates when the reform passed in March 2016.
  • IMG_0139Extended our partnership work with organizations like Best Buy, Kano, and GitHub to help conduct several computer and coding classes for approximately 500 youth in six cities. Participants in these trainings learned not only how to code, but also take home a Kano device of their very own. As one participant said, “This is like 10 birthdays in a box.”
  • Helped train 100 seniors in digital and financial literacy through a grant from Capital One. This grant helped provide Internet service to 100 seniors living in Los Angeles, giving them access to Capital One’s Ready, Set, Bank curriculum and providing significant digital exposure and learning.
  • Experienced abundant staffing changes, including the early 2016 leadership transition and hiring, expanded regional staff, and filling out the dynamic national staff to fully meet the needs of our growing body of work.
  • Participated in conference and panels on a variety of digital inclusion topics including Lifeline reform, ConnectHome, public Wi-Fi services, and other solutions to end the digital divide. In addition, our work received national and local attention through a variety of media channels including Nationswell, CBS-Miami, Univision, The Pacific Standard and we became a sought after resource for all things digital inclusion.

2017: A look ahead

While the upcoming administration transition will provide changes, we are excited for the headway that we have made in ending the digital divide so far. As we told our Board of Directors in late 2016, we have set an ambitious, yet attainable goal: connect 1 million people in the United States by 2020. This is the digital inclusion tipping point, and we need to work together to move things forward.

In 2017, we are poised to make great leaps towards our goal, particularly through our work with ConnectHome and with Sprint’s 1 Million Project, which seeks to connected one million high school students across the United States. We also have plans to expand our digital platform and regional broadband adoption efforts and are excited to push our new Digital Equity Champions initiative forward. In this initiative, we will engage organizations and groups that work directly with low-income people so they can provide information about low-cost Internet service, devices, and digital literacy resources as part of their service offerings.

We are invigorated, and we hope we can count on you to support our efforts in ending this digital divide once and for all. Thank you for your support thus far. We look forward to a successful and life-changing year.