As part of making U.S society and the world a more digitally connected era, Google and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), along with many other corporations, are on an important mission to give access of the unlimited amounts of resources the internet provides to low-income households. Google, who is also known as Alphabet along with HUD think that by collaborating together they can offer those resources and give younger kids and others with less fortunate circumstances a better chance of succeeding in a world which is overrun with technology. Even companies like Sprint and CenturyLink are chipping in and offering either free or low-cost Internet services as well as companies like Best Buy offering their services like computer training.
In a meeting that was held on Thursday at Alphabet’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, Alphabet’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and U.S Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro discussed many ways they could offer different levels of access of technology to bridge the gap between low, mid, and high-income households. Bridging this gap, often called the ‘digital divide’, won’t be an easy task but is said to be at the utmost importance. To help aid in this battle of spreading digital knowledge the HUD, which is an organization that aims to develop and improve the Nation’s communities while enforcing fair housing laws, and the Obama Administration formally announced the launch of its program ‘ConnectHome‘ back in July. ConnectHome is a pilot initiative that will accelerate broadband adoption by children and families living in HUD-assisted housing across the nation. In other words, helping to give online access to those who wouldn’t otherwise have access. Among the many features that this program awards will be providing free devices such as tablets, laptop computers, and other devices needed to be successful. It will also provide residents with technical support as well as giving residents localized, and free training in digital literacy skills which will allow them to effectively utilize the high-speed Internet.
ConnectHome aims at bringing high-speed broadband access to over 275,000 low-income households across the U.S as well as connecting 200,000 children to the web. Schmidt did say that he’s doing everything he can at making ConnectHome as successful as possible and Castro hopes he keeps true to his word. Google is also providing its fiber high-speed Internet service for free in certain public communities which include Atlanta, Durham, North Carolina, Kansas City, Missouri and Nashville, with more soon to follow in the near future. If done correctly, we could see the future of our kids living in a well-connected world with greater opportunities than we ever had. Let’s all just hope that more companies like these provide the less fortunate with more forms of online services.