Tuesday, October 11, 2011

FCC Chairman Announces Public-Private Broadband Adoption Initiative

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a national public-private partnership program that seeks to overcome the chief obstacles that have prevented one-third of all Americans – 100 million people from adopting broadband high-speed Internet at home. These obstacles are digital literacy, relevance and cost.

The FCC will work with public libraries and schools across the country on programs to boost digital literacy, especially among the elderly, disadvantaged and unemployed. The FCC is also supporting "Connect to Compete," a nationwide initiative with the private sector to tackle America's broadband adoption challenge. As part of this initiative, Best Buy will put its 20,000 Geek Squad agents to work beginning in 20 cities to train Americans in basic digital literacy. The Geek Squad will also train trainers, working with community groups to train others how to teach digital literacy.

Microsoft has announced it will build a state-of-the-art online digital literacy training center, with videos and other easy-to-follow content. Others participating in the initiative are National Urban League, 4-H, the Boys and Girls Club, Goodwill, Connected Nation, the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Council of La Raza, and the Asian American Justice Center.

Careerbuilder.com and Monster.com are participating by offering a "skills gap monitor" for identifying opportunities where online training or certification could make a difference between finding a job
and not. MetrixLearning and Virtual Solutions will provide some online job training courses.

See also