Stimulus to Fund Internet Access, Computers in Phila.

September 13, 2010

Underserved communities in Philadelphia will get the benefit of broad Internet access, computers and training through the award of a $11.8 million grant on Monday to a group of public and private entities led by the Urban Affairs Coalition.

"Low-income people and small businesses owners are looking for ways to get back into the game economically," Sharmain Matlock-Turner, president and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition, said. "This award will enable us to provide Internet access and computer training to thousands of Philadelphians so they can develop new skills, put money back into their pockets, and help the economic recovery of our city."

The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration Broadband Technology Opportunity Program as part of American Recovery Reinvestment Act investments and will be used for the following:

Generate 5,000 new broadband household subscribers.

Distribute more than 5,000 computers to public housing residents and formerly homeless youth.

Support 50 businesses to adopt broadband use.

Serve nearly 15,000 people by providing them with more than 210,000 hours of hands-on training and making them regular broadband users.

Reach a minimum of 75,000 people through a viral social marketing campaign informing residents about the important role that broadband can play in improving their daily lives.

The initiative will be led by the Urban Affairs Coalition in collaboration with Philadelphia Freedom Rings: SBA Partnership; Media Mobilizing Project; National Comprehensive Center for Fathers; New America Foundation; One Day At A Time; People's Emergency Center, Philadelphia FIGHT; Tenet Social Services Inc; Wilco Electronic Systems, Inc.; and Youth Outreach and Community Awareness Project.  

Athena Merritt
Philadelphia Business Journal