Google Fiber believes everyone deserves fast, reliable internet at an accessible price all year round. But this week is Digital Inclusion week- the perfect opportunity for us to reflect on some of the high-impact digital equity work that we are excited to be a part of! Join us as we celebrate the projects and partnerships that are getting more people connected to the amazing opportunities the internet provides.
Affordable high-speed internet: Access to high-quality internet is essential for every household, yet affordability is a challenge for many on the wrong side of the digital divide. That’s why we’ve been such strong supporters of the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, and why we are now offering 300 Meg for $30 a month to customers who are participating in this program. With the $30 subsidy through the FCC, this plan is available at no cost to our ACP customers. The need for the Affordable Connectivity Program has never been clearer. Over 20 million American households are using these funds to stay connected to work, school, family and more. That’s why Google Fiber has been encouraging Congress to renew funding for ACP. Reach out to your representatives to ask them to ensure this essential program continues to connect our country.
Digital literacy: We invest in digital literacy programs that empower people with the skills needed to navigate the online world. This year GFiber supported Des Moines, Iowa’s Shalom Community Impact Center’s digital literacy programming, helping immigrant families get connected to the critical resources needed to navigate their new home. In Nashville, Tennessee, we proudly supported the Nashville Cyber Seniors workshops, classes, and educational resources. And in Atlanta, Georgia, our partner Inspiredu provided over 3,500 hours of digital literacy training to community members.
Transformative partnerships: Many of our longtime partnerships are pioneers of sustainable and scalable community-based solutions. In 2015, we became a founding sponsor of NTEN’s Digital Inclusion Fellowship, a nationwide effort to build the capacity of local organizations to close the digital divide in their communities. In 2023, we are proud to sponsor 15 fellows in this year’s cohort of digital equity champions. PCs for People in Kansas City was one of our earliest community partners. This year, we launched a new partnership with this digital equity powerhouse to get low-cost internet to 4 affordable housing communities. And in North Carolina, our longtime partner E2D is bridging the device gap, distributing over 1,000 no-cost laptops to families in need when they need them most- before the start of the new school year.
Local alliances: We support foundations and coalitions who are tackling their community’s big challenges. We proudly support the Community of Huntsville Foundation’s Digital Equity Fund, which has invested in 33 digital equity programs across the city. In Austin, Texas, we supported Foundation Communities’ vision of creating “housing where families succeed” by providing residents with a no-cost laptop. In Arizona, Google Fiber joined the Mesa College Promise Program supporting the education of Mesa’s high school students for the first two years of college.
Innovative technologies: Innovation has always been at the heart of Google Fiber’s bold vision that everyone should have access to affordable internet. In the last three years, we’ve made tremendous strides, upgrading our products, services and network. This year, we launched GFiber Labs, dedicated to pushing the bounds of innovation and increasing our ability to serve more people in more places.
From digital navigators to policy makers, we are so proud to be part of a movement to bring better internet to more people. But Digital Inclusion week isn’t just about celebrating. It is also a chance to reflect on where we can continue to challenge ourselves and others to advance digital equity and inclusion in a meaningful way. (One more plug to encourage your representative to support ACP!) 2023 has been a year we are proud of, but there is so much work to be done and we are just getting started.
Posted By Jess George, Head of Digital Equity & Community Impact