The application window for first round broadband stimulus funding closes today for NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Last week, Intel joined the national non-profit Connected Nation and a host of fellow technology companies, including Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Velocity Micro, and ZT Systems, to apply for BTOP’s Sustainable Broadband Adoption funding for Every Citizen Online SM.
Every Citizen Online is a public-private partnership designed to enable PC ownership and broadband use in low-income and other unconnected households. Joining together non-profits, technology companies, and local community entities, the program will provide digital literacy education and help unconnected consumers purchase a new broadband-enabled notebook or desktop (from their choice of a broad range of PCs) using an instant rebate, bundled with at least one year of discounted broadband service.
Intel believes that consumer-focused, demand side programs such as Every Citizen Online are critical to achieving the Obama Administration’s and Congress’ goal of ubiquitous, high-quality, affordable broadband. As the Pew Internet & American Life Project reports, the top reasons non-Internet users cite for not adopting broadband at home are lack of PC ownership, the price of a broadband subscription, and lack of relevance. According to Pew, 21% of those who cite price (of a PC or broadband subscription) as a barrier to adoption in the U.S. are African Americans, 27% are age 65 and older, and 27% live in rural areas. Every Citizen Online endeavors to help overcome the top barriers to broadband adoption for these Americans.
If awarded BTOP funding, the initial phase of Every Citizen Online will make 150,000 new broadband-enabled PCs and broadband subscriptions affordable to low-income and other unconnected households across 20 States – with the goal of enabling at least a half million new home broadband users over the next two to three years.