Many of us take for granted having easy Internet access for doing our jobs, keeping in touch with friends and colleagues on email and Facebook, and searching the web for information.. But 35 million US homes, or about one third, do not have broadband access, affecting their ability to educate and inform themselves and seek or apply for jobs. An initiative designed to address this situation called Connect to Compete has been put together by the Federal Communications Commission, several major cable companies, and various corporations.
A key component of this initiative is an offer by participating cable companies to offer Internet service for two years at $9.95 per month to households with children who are eligible for free school lunches. This offer starts next summer and will be complimented with special pricing on PC's as well as computer training being offered to low income families by companies such as Microsoft and Best Buy..
All of these efforts are part of a broader vision to expand broadband access throughout our country's more rural and impoverished areas. More and more children are being required to complete homework assignments on the Internet or devices like I-Pads that have replaced textbooks. Without Internet access in the home, these children may be left behind. Initiatives such as Connect to Compete are creative collaborations to achieve this vision.