Philadelphians Gain Greater Access To Digital Literacy Classes, Affordable High-Speed Internet And Low-Cost Computers
PHILADELPHIA, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Philadelphians will gain greater access to the technology and skills they need to compete in the 21(st) century workforce, through the local launch of EveryoneOn, a nationwide campaign to connect Americans to free digital literacy training classes, discounted high speed Internet and affordable computers. The EveryoneOn campaign is sponsored by national nonprofit Connect2Compete, along with local partners including the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Program partners announced the availability of the new service offerings during a community event today at the Parkway Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
“America is fast becoming a land of digital natives. This technological manifest destiny means that it is not only imperative for all of our citizens to be connected with broadband services, they must also become fully digitally literate. Only then will we realize full societal participation along with optimal market and economic prosperity,” said Mignon L. Clyburn, Federal Communications Commissioner. “This is why initiatives like Connect2Compete are so important. They have the capacity to uplift those who remain on the digital side-lines, and each of us has the ability to play a role ensuring that more of our friends and neighbors excel because of it.”
Digital literacy is critical to America’s economic future, and possessing these skills is now essential for accessing the jobs and education opportunities that will enable current and future generations to compete in the 21(st) century workforce. With an estimated 41 percent of Philadelphia residents lacking basic computer skills and Internet access, the digital divide threatens the future of the City by keeping low-income residents from jobs, education and healthcare resources now available online.
“We are bridging the gap that separates the offline residents of Philadelphia from those who are online, and helping to make online education, healthcare and employment opportunities available to everyone regardless of income,” said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, the Knight Foundation’s Philadelphia program director. “EveryoneOn is a program all Philadelphians should know about and support as we strive to continue to make Philadelphia a great place to live, work, learn and grow.”
The EveryoneOn will supplement existing digital literacy programs in Philadelphia by providing residents with additional services, including:
Low/No-Cost Internet Access - Through partnerships with Philadelphia Internet providers such as Freedom Pop, Comcast and Wilco, Connect2Compete will connect millions of low-income citizens to programs that offer free and low-cost Internet services. FreedomPop is offering a $49 “plug and play” router (equivalent to a 50% discount) and free access to 1GB of wireless Internet service, with the option of an additional 12GB of service for $9.99/month, including free “auto-off” defaults to prevent overages.
For eligible families, Wilco will offer $14.95 monthly-home Internet with unlimited Internet data, with a $14.95 set-up fee. Comcast’s Internet Essentials program is currently available to families who have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, including public, parochial, private, and homeschool students. Comcast’s high-speed Internet service is priced at $9.95 a month.
Affordable Computers – Through a host of hardware and software partners, Connect2Compete will provide the opportunity to purchase new and refurbished computers, with $150 desktops and $199 laptops.
Digital Skills Training - As a part of EveryoneOn, the Free Library of Philadelphia and training organizations such as KEYSPOT are offering expanded times and locations for free classes including basic skills such as how to use a computer, navigate the web, take actions like preparing and uploading an online resume, or processing a basic Internet transaction.
“EveryoneOn allows for all Philadelphia residents the chance for a better, brighter and more technology-enabled future,” said Zach Leverenz, CEO of Connect2Compete. “Philadelphia is a thriving city with an excellent education, health, nonprofit and business environment, and ensuring that community members can access this information via the Internet is essential. We are thrilled to work with local partners to make this possible.”
For more information on the campaign and a list of free digital skills training opportunities in your area, call 1-855-EVRY1ON or text “Connect” to 30364. Consumers can also visit www.EveryoneOn.org, which will include a zip code locator tool to find free digital literacy training classes and links to best-in-class online training resources. Information will be available in English and Spanish. For details and information regarding low-cost Internet and computer programs in your local area, please visit www.Connect2Compete.org.
Connect2Compete (C2C) is a national nonprofit that aims to eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet, computers, and free digital literacy accessible to all unconnected Americans. Technology and digital skills are essential to ensure future generations can compete in the global economy and to prepare them for the 21st century workforce. C2C aims to leverage the democratizing power of the Internet to provide opportunity to all Americans – regardless of age, race, geography, income, or education level. For more information, please visit www.Connect2Compete.org.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
Contact: Jennifer Bemisderfer
Contact: Andrew Sherry, Knight Foundation